Three boats have retired from the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race on day one. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has been forced to retire after splitting the mainsail between second and third reefs on his yacht, Grey Power. The mast has also been damaged.
Sir Robin and his crew member Simon Clay are now heading for the nearest port which can take the Open 60, which is Calais in France. The race started this morning off the Isle of Wight after being postponed due to bad weather yesterday. Sir Robin said he had had a great sail otherwise and had hit 21 knots, but repairs will take a couple of days so carrying on was not possible. Sir Robin spoke to race organisers RORC at 1830 BST to inform them of his retirement.
At 1925 Concise 8 also phoned the Race Committee to inform them that they would be retiring into Harwich. All of the crew are fine.
At 19:30 the following statement was received from Conrad Humphreys and his crew; 'The crew on board Cat® Phone, Class 40 are experiencing issues with the lower section of the mainsail track coming away from the mast and are heading for shelter from the strong winds from Hurricane Bertha. The crew are OK and focused on trying to see if they can resolve and resume racing. More news later.' Event website