Clipper Race: Final push to Jamaica

Published on May 17th, 2014

(May 17, 2014) – With around 80 miles to the finish of the Spirit of Jamaica Chase, concentration levels are high as the teams focus on maximising boat speed upwind with careful helming, trimming and taking advantage of every wind shift.

The most easterly teams look set for a good result, with Henri Lloyd still leading and GREAT Britain moving up the leaderboard to second and Switzerland chasing behind, leaping up to fourth from eleventh yesterday.

The teams that are still further west are hoping the wind will veer round enough so they can clear the southern tip of Jamaica without needing to tack.

Just 19 miles separates the top nine teams.

Vicky Ellis, skipper of Switzerland, said: “The wind has freed off for us over the past 24 hours, meaning that it is no longer coming from in front and has moved a little to the side, allowing us to reach a bit more than beat which has really helped our boat speed. The tough slog of having sought the easterly route early in seems to be paying a little back at last.”

Chris Hollis, skipper of PSP Logistics, in seventh position, commented: “It is peddle down, weight up, taking every lift you can get to avoid a fatal tack around the point at the last minute. GREAT Britain and Switzerland are having a great race out wide and will be tough to beat I think. However, there is still some fickle wind up near Jamaica and as we all converge to the island rounding it could go many ways. This is going to be a great end to the race.”

Skipper of Invest Africa Rich Gould added the course had steadily improved bit by bit enough to have kept it on this tack but he feared that the shift will not quite be enough.

“If the wind does shift the last little bit that we need it to it will mean that we have sailed the minimum miles required, however if the shift fails to materialise our commitment to going north while some of the other boats put miles in to the east will cost us dearly.”

Click here for ETAs.

Report by event media.

Skipper reports: http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/skipper-reports
Race tracker: http://yb.tl/clipper2013-race12
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.

Having transited the Panama Canal, the 12 teams began Race 12, the Spirit of Jamaica Chase, on May 14. A Le Mans start 37 miles off the Panama coast marked the commencement of the 590 mile sprint to Jamaica. The boats are expected to arrive between May 17 and 18.

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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