Clipper Race: Frustration as light winds hinder progress

Published on June 9th, 2014

(June 9, 2014) – It has been a second day of light winds for the Clipper Race fleet, increasing frustration amongst the teams as some also sail through fog. The yachts to the south have been making significantly better progress closer to the high pressure and also picking up on a more favourable current at times.

The 12 teams began Race 14, the 2850 mile leg from New York City to Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on June 7. The fleet is estimated to arrive by June 21.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire is now leading the fleet, with Team Garmin in second and Switzerland in third place.

Clipper Race meteorologist Simon Rowell said the wind is expected to fill in a little today but after that a low will move slowly east north easterly into the Atlantic, and a smaller area of low pressure should move off the area between Sable Island and Newfoundland behind it, like a secondary depression.

Jan Ridd, skipper of Team Garmin, said: “Well it has been an interesting first 24 hours to this race, with gains and losses made by boats choosing different tactics in some light winds.

“After the start the boats all bunched together as we could sail our course but as the wind moved aft the plots on the schedule show a clear starburst effect as boats choose different tacks.

“Here on Team Garmin we decided to stay fairly close to the rhumb line and stay with the main fleet. Earlier this morning we saw a group of boats tack early to the south and disappear over the horizon. This afternoon they reappeared after making a few miles on the rest of the fleet.”

Sean McCarter, skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, said he had taken a more southerly route in the hope of picking up an eddy of the Gulf Stream and seemed to have found it.

“The trick now is to milk as much from it as possible without risking being taken too far out of position and into lighter breeze.”

With just under two weeks to go until the LegenDerry stopover, today the Feast Day of the Patron Saint of Derry, Colmcille, is being marked. It is believed he founded the city of Derry in 563 AD before going to Scotland to spread Christianity.

Report by event media.

Skipper reports: http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/skipper-reports
Race tracker: http://yb.tl/clipper2013-race14
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 14, the 2850 mile leg from New York City to Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on June 7. The fleet is estimated to arrive by June 21.

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 on July 12.

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