High pressure system tightens up Clipper Race

Published on May 28th, 2014

(May 28, 2014) – The dreaded forecast lighter winds have arrived as the Clipper Race fleet tackles the ridge of a high pressure system as they work their way north of the Bahamas. The lead of Henri Lloyd is now closely challenged as GREAT Britain, Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Old Pulteney have stormed to the top of the leaderboard eager to challenge for the impending Ocean Sprint points.

The leaders now have less than 700 miles to the finish in New York City.

Patrick Van der Zijden – skipper of Old Pulteney – which currently lies in second place – has so far played a successful tactical game after claiming one bonus point in the Scoring Gate. He reflects on the close match racing in his skipper report today:

“We are half way through this race mileage wise, and are still neck and neck with our nearest competitors and good friends Derry~Londonderry~Doire, who is only a mile away. This afternoon the wind lightened and changed enough to hoist our mediumweight kite which helped us average speeds of 9 to 10 knots.”

While GREAT Britain has swapped it’s ‘dance partner’ for OneDLL, Switzerland, skippered by Vicky Ellis, has climbed into fourth place. She was relieved to have parted company after some very close racing:

“After having sailed with the company of GREAT Britain in our wake for several days we have finally filed for separation this morning and they have shifted off east to go and play with OneDLL. This is a bit of welcome relief as the racing last night was close, very close, nearly too close (well it was GREAT Britain).”

“GREAT Britain got so close on a few occasions her bow navigation lights were illuminating our aft deck. You could have read a map, and their bowsprit was so close to us at points I nearly made my helmsman wear a hard hat! Very exciting stuff, I hope it made Simon’s birthday!”

While the fleet battle the lighter winds and the mix fortunes it brings with it, Team Garmin which saw its closest rival Jamaica Get All Right take a lead of just 10 miles, remains focussed and upbeat.

Skipper Jan Ridd said: “Hopefully the rest of the fleet will now slow down as we all enter this ridge of high pressure. We were all aware of this ridge and we could not see any practical way to avoid sailing through it, but as always we hoped that all the fleet would be affected equally.

“The crew have been working hard with all sail combinations trying to maximise our boat speed.”

Report by event media.

Skipper reports: http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/skipper-reports
Race tracker: http://yb.tl/clipper2013-race13
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.

The 12 teams began Race 13, the 1420 mile leg to New York City – The Grange Hotels Trophye – on May 24. The fleet is estimated to arrive into New York between 31 May and 1 June. The final leg resumes on 7 June and concludes with a spectacular homecoming in London on 12 July.

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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