Clipper Race: Champagne sailing returns

Published on November 5th, 2017

(November 5, 2017; Day 5) – After getting pasted yesterday with extreme weather, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet has enjoyed a more settled 24 hours in champagne sailing conditions that have allowed teams to recuperate and reset as they head towards the end of the first week at sea.

However, it has also been a day of big changes on the leaderbaord as weather systems pass through and the fleet’s previous split converges.

Sanya Serenity Coast is still leading the fleet, more than doubling its advantage over its competitors, and is nearly 120 nautical miles ahead of PSP Logistics which has returned to second place today. Sanya Serenity Coast is making some impressive ground on its rivals sailing some 108 nautical miles in the last twelve hours compared to PSP Logistics’ 88 nautical miles.

Despite its big lead, Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper Wendy Tuck explains that the team are putting welfare first. She said: “I just want to say how cool my crew are, only a couple of sea sickies but they manage to push through all but the worst of it. Everyone is just looking out for each other during the big blow, and looking after me. I’m constantly getting asked how much sleep did I get, thank you crew.”

The favourable sailing conditions have certainly worked in favour of Liverpool 2018 which is in third place, jumping up the leaderboard from sixth place yesterday. In contrast, Garmin has slipped from second place to eighth today after slowing to complete some routine maintenance. Garmin Skipper Gaetan Thomas says: “We did lose some positions but later on we will have a decent angle with the next gale coming, and we will keep pushing the same”

Good progress is continued to be made throughout the fleet. In fourth place, Qingdao has had a productive 24 hours with Skipper Chris Kobusch reporting: “we had a great day sailing with steady winds and we covered a decent mileage.”

On board fifth placed Dare To Lead, Skipper Dale Smyth comments: “Last 24 hrs have been in complete contrast to the previous 24. We have been slipping along on a flattish sea under spinnaker, closely bunched up with Visit Seattle and PSP Logistics.”

Crew welfare is similarly at the forefront of minds on board Visit Seattle which sits in sixth place. Speaking from on board, Skipper Nikki Henderson explains: “We often go around the team and each share one word to describe how we are feeling. Benno’s word stood out to me (*words); “born again”. It almost feels like that!

“Yesterday we put everything back together again with a complete deep clean of the boat, re-flaking of the sails, fixing a few things on deck. Whenever I’ve been through bad weather in the past, you always end up having these days – it’s sort of a therapeutic necessity.”

Following Visit Settle is GREAT Britain in seventh place and Unicef in ninth, and on board tenth placed Nasdaq, Skipper Rob Graham sends his well wishes to diverted HotelPlanner.com. Speaking from on board, he says: “I hope HotelPlanner.com got into Port Elizabeth safely and the medevac and crew transfer went well.

“Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the wider Clipper Race family – although we are all competing, we only want the best possible outcome for the Greenings and HotelPlanner.com teams.”

Meanwhile eleventh placed HotelPlanner.com has successfully medevaced its injured crew member in Port Elizabeth (see story) and welcomed six new honorary HotelPlanner.com crew members, formally of team Greenings, on board for Race 3 as it continues the race to Fremantle this morning.

Note: Greenings ran aground just hours after the start on October 31 of the third leg from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Australia. The crew was safely evacuated but damage to the boat was deemed too extensive for it to continue in the 2017-18 edition.


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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.

Race RouteRace Schedule and Miles

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Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

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