Champagne ocean racing toward San Francisco

Published on March 24th, 2014

(March 24, 2014) – The Clipper Race fleet has passed the first week in its 5,600 mile Pacific Ocean test and in return for overcoming the mixed weather conditions, which included everything from wind holes to gale force gusts, Mother Nature appears to have be providing more rewarding racing conditions.

Many skippers have commented on blue skies, smooth swell and steady 18 knots plus breeze.Olly Cotterell of OneDLL summarised: “Champagne, that’s the conditions we have right now. The sun is out, the wind is steady and we are making good progress.”

GREAT Britain continues to lead the fleet with Derry~Londonderry~Doire still hot on its heels, just four miles behind. OneDLL is still third, 30 miles behind.

As the fleet remains spread out across north and south of the rhumb line, Team Garmin skipper Jan Ridd explains his decision to take the most southerly fleet position: “My reasons for staying further south are my memories from the 2009-10 Clipper Race, where the whole fleet got caught in a huge storm and two boats suffered catastrophic damage, luckily with no serious injuries to the crew, from hurricane force winds and mountainous seas, whereas the boats further south still managed to sail a reasonable course.

“At the moment there do not seem to be any large storms moving into the Pacific but with over 4,000 miles to go I am not willing to take any chances. The danger we face from being the most southerly boat is sailing into the high pressure to the south and running out of wind again so we will have to keep a close eye on the forecasts.”

PSP Logisitics slipped to twelfth place yesterday as its 96 hour schedule put it 129 miles behind GREAT Britain based on the yachts elapsed time.

Jamaica Get All Right resumed racing at 23:46 UTC last night, bringing an end to a difficult past 48 hours having been held up in Tateyama, Japan by customs officials following the medevac of a crew member who was later diagnosed with pneumonia.

Staying upbeat about the situation, Jamaica Get All Right skipper Pete Stirling said: “Our diversion has probably cost us around 400 miles in distance to the rest of the fleet but with still over 4,000 miles to go the race is still wide open and we have every chance of moving up the leaderboard, the only way is up now. Crew morale is high and everyone is motivated to sail fast, sail safe.”

*PSP Logistics’ leaderboard position is updated daily at 12:50 UTC based on its previous 24 hours elapsed distance.

Skipper reports: http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/skipper-reports
Race tracker: http://yb.tl/clipper2013-race10
Race website: http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Background:
The 40,000 mile Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race began in London, UK on September 1 for the fleet of twelve identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s.

Eleven teams started the 5,600 mile leg from Qingdao, China to San Francisco, USA on March 16. PSP Logistics started the leg on March 19, a result of their late arrival into China due to several setbacks.

All twelve teams are expected in San Francisco between April 8-12, subject to prevailing conditions. The fleet will be berthed at South Beach Yacht Club until the April 19 start of Race 11 to the Panama Canal.

The race route includes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Cape Town, South Africa; Albany, Sydney, Hobart and Brisbane, Australia; Singapore; Qingdao, China; San Francisco, USA; Panama; Jamaica; New York, USA; Derry-Londonderry, Ireland; and Den Helder, Netherlands before returning to London in July.

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