Clipper Race: Strategy rules along route to Panama

Published on April 30th, 2014

(April 30, 2014) – The Clipper Race hosted a tightly fought battle in its Race 11 from San Francisco to Panama, with Jamaica Get All Right winning the two Ocean Sprint bonus points by a clear 39 minutes ahead of its nearest competitor PSP Logistics, as the battle to be crowned winner of the PSP Logistics Panama 100 Cup continues.

It was a double celebration for Jamaica Get All Right which not only secured the fastest time of 14 hours and 20 minutes in the Ocean Sprint, but is also now just 25 miles behind leader GREAT Britain in Race 11. The leaders are just over 1100 nm from the finish.

Skipper of the Jamaican-sponsored entry, Pete Stirling, couldn’t hide his elation in his skipper report today.

“We received confirmation from Clipper Race HQ this evening that we had indeed won the Ocean Sprint and would be receiving the two very valuable extra points. It was close though with us beating PSP Logistics by just 39 minutes. Furthermore we managed to make gains towards the finish line on the rest of the fleet which has propelled us up the leaderboard into second place, just a few miles behind GREAT Britain,” he said.

As the miles to the finish line continue be shed Qingdao, PSP Logistics and Old Pulteney have all elected to activate Stealth Mode. Skipper of Team Garmin, Jan Ridd knows with the second potential finish gate, the Angel Gate looming on the horizon, tactics will really start to kick in as the teams pull out all the stops eager to make gains on the rest of the fleet.

“This race is becoming very tactical with a lot of boats choosing to sail south where we have chosen a more south easterly course,” Jan explains. “We have plotted our course to put us in a position to be able to sail as best we can towards Panama, but we will lose out to the boats further out to the west if the race is called early.

“We have looked at the available weather information and have sailed a course to allow us to gain an advantage in the coming days, we are just hoping the race is not called short soon,” he said.

While a jubilant evening for Jamaica get All Right, Mission Performance endured a more frustrating night as the team – which currently lies in eleventh place – battles to catch up with the rest of the fleet. Skipper, Matt Mitchell, explains:

“As good as the mood of the crew is I can only describe myself as feeling slightly frustrated – of course I am hiding it in my usual way but we are very much out of touch with the fleet at the moment.

“Over the last couple of days every time we have gybed to try and get a bit more eastward progress, either the course we have been able to make has been rubbish, or the course may be good but the speed rubbish, or both course and speed have been rubbish. I feel that our hand has been forced a little staying on the southerly gybe when the favourable wind is on the eastern side of the course.”

Report by event media.

Skipper reports: http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/skipper-reports
Race tracker: http://yb.tl/clipper2013-race11
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.

Twelve teams started the 3,350 mile leg from San Francisco, USA to Panama on April 19, and are expected to arrive by May 10.

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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