The Volvo boats left with the tide from Portsmouth heading out towards the needles. The course is around the fastnet rock up the west coast of ireland, around Scotland back down southwards to Rotterdam.

A challenging course with a very slow start, glassy seas and these normally rocket powered boats have covered little more than 200 miles under very light fluky winds.

With these light airs and the high pressure drifting east, southwesterly winds are on their way to crank up the pace.

This leg will be extreemly testing for the crews of the Volvo boats, should be an interesting leg.

Positions at 22:00 on 04-06-2006:
1. Brasil 1, Torben Grael, 1149 miles to finish
2. Ericsson Racing Team, Neal McDonald, +3 miles
3. Pirates of the Caribbean, Paul Cayard, +5 miles
4. ABN Amro One, Mike Sanderson, + 7 miles
5. ABN Amro Two, Sebastien Josse, +7 miles
6. Brunel, Matt Humphries, + 10 miles
7. movistar, Bouwe Bekking, DNS

Story & pictures by Peter & Michael Delbridge, Boatshed Hamble who were out in their rib for the start of leg 8 Portsmouth to Rotterdam

Sail the wind you have, not the wind you wish you had!