10:30 Sunday, the six Open 40 and Class 40 yachts left the marina and
motored on a parade of sail upriver towards the ancient centre of Portimão
before swinging around, turning downstream and heading out to the start
area off the famous Praia de Rochas just west of the town’s breakwaters.
In light north-easterly breeze, the fleet circled in the security zone
east of the start line without head sails, carefully gauging the moment
for a downwind start and avoiding the event’s tough, four hour
penalty for an early start. Three minutes before the start, Boris Herrmann
and Felix Oehme on Class 40 Beluga Racer were locked-in with the South
African Van Der Wel brothers, Lenjohn and Peter, on Kazimir Partners
with the Chilean Class 40, Desafio Cabo de Hornos and South American
duo, Felipe Cubillos and José Munos a few metres to windward.
Leading the trio, Hermann and Oehme quickly scrubbed some speed off
Beluga Racer by hardening up violently, before unfurling their headsail
just 15 seconds before the 14:00 start gun. The first three boats across
the line in this 30,000mile circumnavigation were all double-handed
Class 40 entries: 1. Beluga Racer. 2. Desafio Cabo de Hornos. 3. Kazimir
Partners. Pic from Ingrid Abery, more here.