Tanit takes the overall lead

The sound of grinding teeth could almost be heard along the west coast over the past 24 hours as the fleet in the Round Ireland Race battled light winds that has upturned the standings in the 704-mile event.

Tanit takes the overall lead

Crosshaven entry Cavatina, skippered by Ian Hickey, may yet pay a heavy penalty for staying off the coast of Mayo overnight on Monday as the 38-footer was caught in a calm patch and dropped from the overall lead on handicap time.

British entry Tanit, a 36-footer skippered by Richard Harris, has instead moved into the overall lead by staying close to the front-runners of the main fleet that had a clear run in some wind crossing Sligo Bay early yesterday.

Tanit was the overnight leader in close company with defending champions Bernard and Laurent Gouy on French entry Inis Mór.

Cavatina, meanwhile, had plummeted back to 15th place at one stage yesterday before recovering ground to fourth overall on provisional standings as she began moving in fresh winds.

Yet, for the smaller boats, the race is far from over and the concertina effect on the fleet is likely to occur again today or tomorrow as the tidal gates along the north coast have an effect on progress.

The race leaders on the water were struggling past Malin Head yesterday afternoon in an effort to reach Rathlin Island before 2am this morning when the tide is due to change against the oncoming race.

In the light winds, the foul tide has the effect of reducing boat speed by up to half.

David Ryan’s Wicklow Sailing Club entry Monster Project was still leading by almost 20 miles while Eamon Crosbie’s Teng Tools Kilcullen was hoping to close the gap overnight.

The first boats are expected to reach Wicklow late this evening or early tomorrow morning as winds start to freshen once again on the Irish Sea.

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