Ronstan

Light winds welcome Clipper fleet as they near San Francisco finish

Published on April 9th, 2014

(April 9, 2014) – With the Clipper Race nearly completing their Pacific Ocean crossing, Henri Lloyd has emerged victorious from 48 hours in Stealth Mode, now holding a marginal lead in the closing stages of Race 10 despite also being caught in the same wind hole as its competitors.

However, with around 30 miles now separating the top three entries and with less than 200 miles to go until the finish line into San Francisco (as at 1200 UTC), Race 10 is still anyone’s for the taking.

With the finish line in sight Henri Lloyd, GREAT Britain and Invest Africa’s progress was halted slightly yesterday, as the forecast wind hole challenged the teams’ patience to the limit. However, after a challenging few hours crawling along Henri Lloyd was able to retain its lead with GREAT Britain, Invest Africa and OneDLL in hot pursuit.

Skipper of Henri Lloyd, Eric Holden described the tense few hours in his last report: “After six hours of hardly moving, I can report that we are moving again and are hopeful that this can last through to the finish. When you get this close everyone just wants to get there, yet we’ve got 240 miles of intense racing and we need to keep focused right to the end. After having a good race it would be devastating to have it all unravel at this late hour.”

Despite the fight for line honours OneDLL has redress of 2 hours 57 minutes for going to the aid of Derry~Londonderry~Doire during its MOB incident. This could upset the leader board by leapfrogging any boat less than this time ahead of them. All results are provisional until PSP Logistics finishes which is racing on an elapsed time basis, having started 36 hours behind the rest of the fleet.

Rich Gould, Skipper of Invest Africa, which is challenging for its third overall podium position in the Clipper 2013-14 Race shares the emotions of the last 24 hours: “It’s been an amazingly tough and stressful 24 hours that has seen the front 5 boats of the fleet compress in a huge way.

“I have lost count of the number of sail changes we have done in an effort to keep Invest Africa moving in the light and fickle breeze. Both the windseeker, Yankee 1 and the light weight spinnaker have all been out and up in the sky and back down again at some point which has kept both watches busy all day and night.”

Meanwhile, at the back of the fleet, teams are continuing with their very own fight for points. Skipper Chris Hollis on PSP Logistics explains: “We are looking forward to our little battle to the finish line with Jamaica Get All Right and Mission Performance. This won’t be the first time the two boats will have close finishes for line honours…If memory serves me correctly, it is one a piece at the moment.

“Jamaica Get All Right piping us to the post into Rio de Janeiro by 19 seconds, and us piping them to the post in to Hobart by 5 minutes or so…”

The first boats to cross the finish line are now expected overnight local time (UTC-7hrs/BST-8hrs). The latest ETAs into San Francisco will be updated here.

Report by event media

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 10 and 13, 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. During the Clipper Race’s stay at South Beach Yacht Club, San Francisco there will be several events open to the public.

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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