Clipper Race: Now there are eleven
Published on November 1st, 2017
(November 1, 2017; Day 1) – Though the tactics for the third leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race are in full swing, the thoughts of the now 11-boat fleet are very much with Greenings, after the boat ran aground last night, shortly after leaving Cape Town, South Africa.
Greenings ran aground on the western side of Cape Peninsula, which sits roughly halfway between Cape Town and Cape Point at approximately 2140 UTC (2340 local time) on October 31.
The Skipper and crew of Greenings were unhurt in the incident and have been relocated to accommodation in Cape Town, after being safely evacuated from the boat by South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).
Following careful analysis of the boat, the Clipper Race office has confirmed the vessel is partially underwater and will take no further part in the Clipper 2017-18 Race. Underwriters have appointed a surveyor who will attend the boat tomorrow and, on receipt of his report, a decision will be made as to whether the boat will be salvaged or not.
Sanya Serenity Coast is currently leading the way with a 28 nautical mile advantage on the second placed Dare To Lead. With its spinnaker flying, Sanya Serenity Coast was first to the first mark after crossing the start line in Cape Town’s Table Bay, and Skipper Wendy Tuck says: “Well, what a start it was. The team was pumped and it showed in the teamwork in the first 18 hours – it has been amazing.
“The breeze was light and then all over the place a few hours after the start, so sails were going up and down. It’s great to be back out here.”
Dare To Lead was first across the start line yesterday, but had to use all the Skipper’s local knowledge of the waters around Cape Town to move into second place, as Dale Smyth reports: “We had a frustrating start in Table Bay with very fickle wind and a botched spinnaker hoist. But we quickly got going and back up to second, and have started to pick up the promised north-westerly winds, which have given us a fast run south.”
PSP Logistics, under the leadership of new Skipper Matt Mitchell is right on Dare To Lead’s tail, less than 1 nautical mile behind in third. Whilst the team’s progress slowed overnight after a tangle with a turtle (which was unharmed), Matt is pleased with the race so far.
“The start was a good one with light and challenging airs and we ended up being second around the last mark, and fourth out of the bay where more light winds challenged the fleet,” said Mitchell. “With a bit of a lucky break, we managed to gain a place and break off in a group of three, ahead of the rest of the pack.”
With just nine nautical miles separating second from the ninth placed Liverpool 2018, racing after day one in the Dell Latitude Rugged Race is extremely tight. The fourth placed Visit Seattle was briefly stuck in a wind hole off Clifton Bay with Qingdao, who is currently sixth behind Garmin.
Both teams have since re-found the wind, though Visit Seattle Skipper Nikki Henderson says: “It will be interesting to see how the next 12 to 24 hours plays out with the wind forecast to die and shift round to the east. Fingers crossed we have got ourselves in a good position.”
With the teams so close, there is no time for rest on board, as Andy Burns, the Skipper of the seventh placed GREAT Britain, explains: “We have completed more sail changes in the last 18 hours than I think we completed in the whole of Leg 2. We currently have Liverpool 2018 500 metres behind us, and HotelPlanner.com 500 metres on our beam. It just shows what a competitive fleet we have.”
Unicef is currently 87 nautical miles off the pace in eleventh place after being asked by the Clipper Race Director Mark Light to standby and assist Greenings. With the situation under control, Unicef has resumed racing.
Whilst the teams should find the wind backing and easing today, they will start to get their first taste of the Southern Ocean and Roaring Forties in the coming days, as Clipper Race Meteorologist Simon Rowell reports: “The wind should settle and build east-northeast tomorrow, driving in between the next low and the high to the south.
“This will get quite strong too, gusting into the 40 knots tomorrow, with the front on Friday gusting into the 50’s before backing rapidly northwest.”
The third stage of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, officially known as Race 3: The Dell Latitude Rugged Race, got underway October 31 for the 12 teams from Cape Town for the 4,754 nm Southern Ocean sleigh ride towards Fremantle, Australia. Teams are expected to finish between November 21 and 25.
Background: Held biennially, the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race got underway August 20 for the fleet of twelve identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. The 40,000nm course is divided into 13 individual races with the team having the best cumulative score winning the Clipper Race Trophy. Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew that signs up for one, some, or all the races. The 2017-18 race, expected to take 11 months, has attracted 712 people representing 41 nationalities, making it the largest to date.
Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race