Slade aiming for Fastnet record

There is still a slim chance of a new Fastnet Race record tomorrow as Mike Slade's 100-foot Leopard is due to round the rock off the south-west tip of Ireland at about midnight tonight to start the 250-mile run back to the finish in Plymouth.

Slade set the record in the same boat two years ago, clocking just over 44 hours and he needs to finish by 10.18 a.m. today to better that. It is a big ask.

The battle at the front of the Open 60s was being led narrowly by Sam Davies and co-skipper Sidney Gavignet in Artemis with Marc Guillemot a couple of miles behind in Safran, neck and neck with Mike Sanderson in Pindar.

The majority of the fleet was beating upwind in drizzle, poor visibility, and 15 knots of north-westerly, after having bunched overnight Sunday at Portland Bill and again Monday off Plymouth.