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Highland Fling in all her glory

Highland Fling takes Monohull Line Honours

Author: Peta Stuart-Hunt   Date: 09:47 Saturday 1 Jul 2017

Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling X1 (a Reichel Pugh 82ft) has taken line honours for the Monohulls in a time of 4hrs 19mins 44secs.

A mixed crew of sailing talent led by Irvine Laidlaw (aged 75) and including Chris Mason, Mark Chisnell, Terry Halpin and Titch Blachford, sailed a sublime race and have crossed the finish line in Cowes in brighter conditions than when they started at 0530.

Congratulations to skipper, Irvine Laidlaw and his team. 

It is an impressive performance so far from Maverick, the 46ft Infiniti 46 which sails with a DSS foil. The foil sticks out the side of the boat and provides lift to leeward increasing righting moment. This is one of a new breed of monohulls that use this DSS to semi-foil on their boat. Currently the team look to be in second place on IRC0 (the fastest monohull class).

Meanwhile Ben Fogle on the Farr 52, Bob by Cloudy Bay, is making good progress. They are now closing on Bembridge, and are looking set for a reasonably fast rounding. 

The Official Race Charity, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, have four boats out on the water in this race with over 20 youngsters who have undergone cancer onboard. The four boats are of varying sizes so are spread throughout the course. Leading the four is Whirlwind who are just off Shanklin to the south east of the Island. The remaining there boats of Solent Hero, Wight Orca and Faux Pas are all have a bit of a close battle down the south west shore of the island close to St. Catherine’s Point. 

It has also been fine sailing for the J/70 fleet who have been making great progress down the back of the Island and are now mostly past Ventnor. 

Classes update:

IRC0 – A huge spread in this fleet means we have some of the leaders such as the Fast40+ fleet in the Solent, the leader Highland Fling XI has finished but the tail end of the fleet are still back at Ventnor.

IRC1 – The bulk off the fleet are between Ventor and Shanklin. Much tighter fleet here than in IRC0. 

IRC2 – Most of this fleet is round St. Catherine’s but a few stragglers are yet to make it round.

IRC3 – Are all on the approach to St. Catherine’s Point 

ISC4 – Are spread from mid-way between the Needles and St Catherine’ all the way to just past Ventnor. Really big spread of boats here.

ISC5 – Spread along the SW coast, the lead boats are approaching St. Catherine’s Point

ISC6 – A more compact feet than most, this and are all halfway from the Needles to St. Cateherine’s Point.

ISC7 – Also between the Needles and St. Catherine’s Point. It seems that ISC6 and 7 are pretty compressed together.

ISC8 – The bulk of this fleet are off Freshwater Bay and are all – bar a few stragglers – now around the Needles.