Race 3, Day 1: Strong winds and seas as South Atlantic Challenge starts

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The twelve yachts have left Rio and are in some strong winds and seas already en route for Cape Town in the 3,390 mile South Atlantic challenge.

The fleet is finding its sea legs in anticipation of some big sea rollers in contrast to the light winds of Leg 1 and Pete Stirling, skipper of Jamaica Get All Right, has reported near gale force winds and an increasing sea state.

The fleet departed the Rio 2016 Olympic sailing venue, Marina da Gloria, on Saturday afternoon local time before a parade of sail in front of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.

Old Pulteney crossed the line first ahead of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, closely followed by PSP Logistics.

It was Henri Lloyd that progressed from fifth across the line to pass first round the windward mark with Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Old Pulteney in hot pursuit.

The yachts are now on a reach headed south east where they will continue for several days before moving east under the South Atlantic high.

Olly Cotterell, skipper of OneDLL, said the racing was very close out of Brazil.

“The crew have had to work hard over the last 12 hours. The winds were light in Rio calling for large amounts of sail but soon as we pressed offshore the winds built as did the seas. The crew did a good job at reducing sail as we pressed OneDLL towards the south.

“The South Atlantic High is not really in its normal position right now and the fleet is going to have to go a lot further south to get the favourable westerly winds than the previous race.”

15 miles separates leaders of the fleet PSP Logistics from twelfth placed yacht Switzerland. To see how the fleet are progressing, click here. To read all the skippers' reports, click here