Tala looking strong

Britain's David Collins has crossed the line at Cherbourg aboard his Botin 52 Tala, taking a strong hold on the IRC Zero in the process.

12 August 2021


With the absence of Nicolas Groleau’s Bretagne Telecom this year, David Collins has managed to steer his Botin 52 Tala across the finish line with a tight grip on IRC Zero, maintaining contention for a podium spot in IRC overall.

With a finishing time of three days, five hours, two minutes, and 49 seconds, Tala beat Varuna by just over two hours on corrected time.

“The first bit was very tough, but this boat has seen some big weather before. The waves were short and steep, but the crew looked after the boat well. We were double-reefed at times because we were hitting the waves hard,” said Collins.

“Then the next part of the race was fascinating – tactically very challenging.”

“Campbell made some great calls, working out how to get past this last TSS zone for example, finding some counterintuitive moves that really worked well for us.”


As to Tala’s chances of winning the race overall, “We’ve done what we came to do, which is try to win our class. As for the rest of it, all boats sail on a different bit of the ocean, experiencing different tide and different winds,” he added.

“What we do know is that whoever wins overall will have sailed their boat really well.”

Other potential IRC One challengers include Störtebeker, the Carkeek 47 from Hamburg skippered by Katrina Westphal, and Lady First 3, the Mylius 60 skippered by Jean Pierre Dreau.

In other news, Apivia claimed the IMOCA over defending champions, Charal, who is currently maintaining second place.

“To push Charal for second and sneak past Arkea, Paprec was a great result for us in our first doublehanded race,” said Apivia Skipper Simon Fisher. “I am really happy with how it went and how Justine and I are working together. It was a belter of a race.”

The Nigel Irens 84 catamaran Allegra is looking likely to collect the MOCRA prize. “I think we have now proved that Allegra is more than a floating apartment and demonstrated this type of boat can race and hold its own against racing designs,” said owner Adrian Keller.

“This was my first [Rolex Fastnet] race, and it was very exciting. I have a great deal of respect for the course. The start was very windy and coming out from Hurst Castle it got really tough. However, I will remember the Fastnet lighthouse – pitch dark, but you could see that light. That will be is a memory of a lifetime.”

Luke Berry’s defending Class40 champion Module Création rolled while crossing the Celtic Sea en route to Bishop Rock by Antoine Magre’s Palanad 3, the latter passing Bishop Rock at 5:00am BST 11 August (2:00pm 11 August AEST).

Approaching the west side of the Casquets TSS, Berry managed to recover some ground but will be hoping for a last chance saloon opportunity playing the tides south of Alderney.

Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Commodore James Neville and his HH42 INO XXX appear to have blitzed the IRC One, currently maintaining a chance of the overall prize.

In IRC Two, Tom Kneen’s JPK 11.80 Sunrise is on track to the finish having extended their lead to 40 miles over Il Corvo.

Meanwhile, the IRC Three leaders are approaching the TSS due west of the Scilly Isles with Léon in the lead.

David le Goff’s JPK 10.10 Raphael continues to lead IRC Four, both on water and under corrected time.

To follow the rest of the Rolex Fastnet Race as it unfolds, click here.




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