An early slog up the coast of Portugal, a taste of the Atlantic on the way to the Fastnet Rock, and a tactical coastal conundrum along the bottom of Ireland and up the Irish Sea were all in the mix for the two fleets of trimarans on their way from Lisbon to Dublin on the second long leg of the European multihull tour which is the Routes des Princes.
After a total of 12 inshore races, starting with half a dozen in Valencia and the race round to Lisbon through the Straits of Gibraltar, Sidney Gavignet’s MOD70 Oman Air held a slender two-point lead over both Yann Guichard’s Spindrift and Sébastien Josse’s Gitana XV.
But it was Guichard, who managed an awayday to Geneva for the Boule d’Or race round the lake on Saturday, who was fastest out of Lisbon.
Ahead of the 70s the 50-footers had been given an earlier than scheduled start on Saturday. They should be safe and sound in Dun Laoghaire on Tuesday with the 70s about 18 hours behind after a course on which they will cover over 1,000 miles
For Damian Foxall, although born in Kerry, Dublin will be a sort of homecoming while his fellow crew on Oman Air, will have a reunion at the end of the third leg with Plymouth, where he was at the Royal Naval Engineering College
Francis Joyon has reclaimed the singlehanded west to east North Atlantic record from New York to the Lizard in his 30m trimaran IDEC with a time of 5 days, 2 hours, 56 minutes and 10 seconds.
He was 16 hours, 34 minutes and 30 seconds faster than the previous record set by Thomas Coville in 2008. Joyon did all his own boat preparation and then had to hail a passing rib (rigid inflatable boat) owner to ask for a tow off his mooring to exit the Hudson River to the start line at Ambrose Light.