Clipper Race: Complex weather system challenges Transatlantic crossing

Published on June 10th, 2014

(June 10, 2014) – It has been another tense day of racing for the Clipper Race, with light airs, mixed sea currents and fog creating windholes and a game of snakes and ladders on the leaderboard.

Switzerland is currently leading the fleet, 2500 miles from the finish, with Derry~Londonderry~Doire in second place just a mile behind in the race from New York to Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Switzerland skipper Vicky Ellis said: “Our route is picked for us as we tread between the cooler foggy water to the north and the warm fast flowing waters to the south. It has been taking us more southerly recently, unfortunately towards the lighter winds in the centre of the high pressure and away from our next Scoring Gate.

“We will have to turn north at some stage soon as we are currently going to make landfall in Tenerife at this rate!

“Still there have been very good bits of today, like doing a speed over the ground of 11.5 knots with 5 knots of wind blowing! The tussle with Derry~Londonderry~Doire continues as we swap spots repeatedly.”

Olly Cotterell, skipper of OneDLL, had a very stressful day as the boat sailed into a foggy windhole and the boat dropped down the leaderboard to eleventh position.

“I was genuinely worried that we would end up on the wrong side of a ridge of high pressure system to the rest of the fleet, and the consequences of which would have been fatal. However we are back in amongst it now in seventh place, but not out of the woods yet.

“The weather situation is still very complex with a lot of tactical options open.”

Report by event media.

Skipper reports:
Race tracker:
Race website:

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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