Clipper Race: Tight at the top of the leaderboard

Published on July 1st, 2014

(July 1, 2014) – With just five miles now separating the top five Clipper Round the World Yacht Race teams in Race 15 from from Derry-Londonderry, Northern Irleland to Den Helder, The Netherlands, current leader Henri Lloyd, is the first team to reach the Isle of Lewis, the largest and most northerly Island in the Outer Hebrides.

As Canada celebrates Canada Day, the day in 1867 when Canada became the first British colony to become a dominion, Henri Lloyd and its Canadian skipper, Eric Holden has retained the lead as the top half of the leaderboard begins to bunch up. The patriotic skipper, explains the tense conditions:

“Happy Canada Day. The racing remains very close, with the top four all within a mile of each other. There have been wind holes all day and many times boats nearby have been going very different speeds,

sometimes double (or half depending on how you look at it) of a boat only a mile or two away. The wind has been out of the east or north east most of the day and night and progress has been reasonable, but the forecast is still for a switch to the south west so we may very well still have a park up while the wind does a 180 ahead of an incoming depression.”

While the majority of the fleet heads inshore towards the Island of Lewis, Jamaica Get All Right has chosen a different tactic heading further offshore. With an approaching low pressure system, the Jamaican team hope to catch the south westerly wind in a bid to make gains on the rest of the fleet. Skipper, Pete Stirling explains:

“According to yesterday’s weather forecast we should get the south westerly wind ahead of the approaching low pressure system first and should have a stronger breeze further offshore. This should allow us to get a spinnaker up first and start making good speed towards our waypoint just off the northern tip of Lewis. Hopefully this will allow us to catch up with the leading pack or possibly even get ahead of them. Given we currently have no wind we have no choice but to carry on with our strategy as we now can’t do anything different anyway.”

The fleet is expected to arrive in to Den Helder in The Netherlands on 2-3 July.

Report by event media.

Skipper reports: http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/skipper-reports
Crew diaries: http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/crew-diaries
Race tracker: http://yb.tl/clipper2013-race15
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 15, the 770nm leg from Derry-Londonderry, Northern Irleland to Den Helder, The Netherlands, on June 29.

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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