Clipper Race: The Sprint Is On

Published on October 17th, 2015

(October 17, 2015; Race 2, Day 10) – Five of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race teams are currently pushing hard across the Ocean Sprint after enjoying more challenging conditions in the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms.

Race leader Garmin, GREAT Britain (second), Mission Performance (third), Derry~Londonderry~Doire (fourth), and ClipperTelemed+ (fifth) are all in the Ocean Sprint section of the course, racing to be the fastest across the section to gain an extra two bonus points.

The front of the pack is averaging more than 10 knots, despite the wind veering round to the north east and decreasing as the front passed. With the fleet in the same weather, apart from the two most westerly yachts LMAX Exchange and Qingdao, the Ocean Sprint will be an interesting test of skill.

Greg Miller, Skipper of Mission Performance, said he expected the 300 nautical mile Ocean Sprint to take around 30 hours. “The wind isn’t great and we won’t be able to make a direct route towards the other end of the Ocean Sprint gate and will have to gybe also, but if we can make good speed and helm accurately then we stand as good a chance as any.

“Today has been challenging for the helms and those on deck due to the conditions, with very large seas breaking over the decks and each wave pushing the boat off course, ensuring the helms have been getting a session of upper body workout, worthy of any personal trainer on each session on the wheel!” he added.

Max Stunnell, Skipper of eighth-placed PSP Logistics, said his crew did a great job yesterday with the front passing through, but are now struggling with lighter winds. “The helming was challenging and the boat speeds were electrifying. Dawn broke, and showed us the sea we had been hearing all night. As the morning continued the wind diminished and we were left with a large residual sea as a reminder of the night before.

“Helming has remained fair lively and sail area has increased. We now find ourselves on the edge of a moving high pressure system with the wind swinging through the compass in a pitch black night. We are sailing slowly in whatever way the wind takes us,” Max concluded.

Meanwhile, last night it was confirmed that Qingdao is the winner of Race 2’s three Scoring Gate bonus points, reaching the gate in the fastest time, 128 hours, 18 minutes.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire get two bonus points for a time of 130 hours 38 minutes, and Da Nang – Viet Nam one extra point for a time of 131 hours, 41 minutes.

Who will record the fastest Ocean Sprint time on the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms?

Note: Ten of the 12 boats started on schedule on October 7, while LMAX Exchange and Qingdao did not start until October 11 due to damage incurred while in Rio after the first leg. All twelve boats will compete together based on elapsed time over the same distance.

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Background: The 40,000 mile Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race began in London, UK on August 30 for the fleet of twelve identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. The series is divided into 16 individual races, with the team with the best cumulative score winning the Clipper Race Trophy. Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew.

The second leg started October 7 and takes the fleet 3387 nm from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, South Africa. The fleet is due into Cape Town between October 21 and 25 and will be berthed at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront until October 31.

The ports along the race route are Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Cape Town, South Africa; Albany, Sydney, Hobart and Airlie Beach, Australia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Qingdao, China; Seattle, USA; Panama; New York, USA; Derry-Londonderry, Ireland; and Den Helder, Netherlands before returning to London by late July.

CLIPPER ROUTE

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