Small boats remain well-placed in Volvo Round Ireland Race

Niall Dowling’s Baraka Gp retains the overall lead on the water

Baraka Gp skippered by Niall Dowling in action during the Volvo Round Ireland Rac. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Baraka Gp skippered by Niall Dowling in action during the Volvo Round Ireland Rac. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

 

The first finishers in the Volvo Round Ireland Race are expected to reach the Wicklow finishing-line after 2pm on Wednesday to decide the ‘line honours’ for the 705-mile race.

However, with the bulk of the fleet expected on the North coast at the same time, the overall event win is looking likely to favour a small boat entry.

Niall Dowling’s Baraka Gp has retained the overall lead on the water and managed to transit the notorious Rathlin Island tidal-gate off the Antrim coast around 6pm yesterday leaving just 150 nautical miles remaining to Wicklow.

The overall race trophy is awarded to the boat with the fastest IRC handicap corrected time and Dowling’s team appears to have been unable to open up sufficient distance on the chasing fleet over the past four days since the start on Saturday.

Only a twist of fate such as a shutdown in breeze on the Irish Sea, after Baraka Gp has completed the course, blocking the route to the finish could alter their chances.

So far, the forecast suggests light but constant breeze for the route home and possibly half a dozen boats are prospects for the overall win.

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