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Farewell from Ireland to the Route des Princes

As the fleet of multihulls looking like giant beautiful seabirds departed Dun Laoghaire at 1100 today they enjoyed champagne sailing conditions – sunshine, blue skies and a moderate NW’ly breeze.

Plans to challenge the Round Ireland speed record were changed as breezes were forecast to be insufficient for a meaningful attempt on the 20 year record which it was hoped might be an integral part of the Leg 3 course.  In hindsight it could all have been different if the weather window that was open on Saturday could have been availed off for the Round Ireland speed record attempt attempt. However it was not to be.

The revised course will see the fleet head to Bardsey Island off Wales before heading south to the Fastnet. It is anticipated they will reach the Fastnet Rock mid afternoon tomorrow however winds are expected to drop away after rounding the rock.

Only the MOD70s will take the course to the Fastnet whilst the Multi 50s will take a shortened course. It is anticipated that all eight multihulls will arrive in Plymouth on Wednesday for the penultimate festival that will take place until Saturday June 29th before the short sprint across the Channel to the Bay of Morlaix for the world famous Entre Terre et Mere festival where it is estimated some 300,000 spectators will welcome the Route des Princes.

Shortly after departure today Sidney Gavignet, skipper of Oman Air Musandam sent this email from onboard:

‘Here we go again. Bye bye Ireland and thank you for your warm welcome. A thought for Spindrift which will remain at the dock. The story of the Route des Princes has been eventful and I’m sure there are still things to happen. On board we have Ahmed who is only 20 years old who has been only sailing small 18 foot catamarans for a couple of years. Just now we are in visual contact with Virbac-Paprec and Gitana in less than 10 knots of wind. Behind us Prince de Bretagne has blown their gennaker. It is going to be a long race for them…..’

Very emotional indeed after the eventful visit to Dublin and so typical of all the personal releases Sidney Gavignet put out during the during the race stopovers.  It is always a lonely experience when visiting fleets depart on such occasions

Meanwhile Spindrift remains at the dock in Dun Laoghaire as plans are made to transport the 70’ vessel to France. Spindrift crew Jacques Guichard is comfortable and will remain in hospital in Dublin for further medical attention.

We wish the fleet Bon Voyage and hope the race will return to visit our shores again some time.

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