Clipper Race: Slow Approach to Cape Town
Published on October 22nd, 2015
(October 22, 2015; Race 2, Day 15) – The South Atlantic High is the last remaining major obstacle for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race boats still at sea, with progress slow in the final approaches to the finish line off Cape Town, South Africa.
Unicef, PSP Logistics and Visit Seattle are all in good wind now, but must carefully monitor for the wind holes created by the shadow of Table Mountain the closer in they get.
PSP Logistics Skipper Max Stunell notes: “With the wind building, there is very little chance of catching the boats in front and little chance of being caught by the boats behind so we have reduced sail to make things a bit more comfortable. It seems Neptune is dishing out a goodbye from the South Atlantic for us all.”
The race from Rio to Cape Town is being run on an elapsed time basis and the final positions and points will be awarded in ascending elapsed time. The shortest time wins. This is to account for the late start of LMAX Exchange and Qingdao after repairs following damage caused outside of racing during the stopover in Brazil. They started 3 days, 11 hours and 10 minutes after the rest of the fleet.
Qingdao and LMAX Exchange are taking very different southerly and northerly routes in attempts to avoid the high pressure system. LMAX Exchange Skipper Olivier Cardin says: “Yesterday was the beginning of our upwind section to Cape Town. There were two options to avoid the high pressure on the direct route the north and the south.
“We are on the north side and Qingdao is in the south. We were pushing on our side for a few days, unable to cross from one to the other.
Adding, Olivier says: “We expect today the beginning of the veering (wind coming more south) to be able to make a direct course to Cape Town.”
Igor Gotlibovych, Skipper of Qingdao, said: “Congratulations to all the teams finishing the race today – and especially GREAT Britain, Garmin and Derry~Londonderry~Doire Skippers and crews – it was a close race to the end and impressive to watch.
“The clock is now ticking for Qingdao and LMAX Exchange, and while we can’t control the weather, we will do our best to not leave the rest of the fleet waiting for too long,” Igor added.
Last night, GREAT Britain crossed the finish line in the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms to take Line Honours at 20.30 UTC (22.30 local time), followed just ten minutes later by Derry~Londonderry~Doire which found itself caught in the wind shadow created by Table Mountain.
Garmin crossed shortly after at 21.02 UTC and Mission Performance and Clipper Telemed+ are now also finished. The thrilling finishes continued this morning as Da Nang-Viet Nam fought to the end against IchorCoal, finishing just six mintues ahead.
The final elapsed race times for the finished yachts stand as follows:
GREAT Britain: – 338h 30m
Derry~Londonderry~Doire – 338h 40m
Garmin – 339h 02m
Mission Performance – 342h 53mins
ClipperTelemed+ – 347h 39 mins
Da Nang-Viet Nam – 351h 12 mins
IchorCoal – 351h 18 mins
Based on these calculations, if either LMAX Exchange or Qingdao finish after 0812 UTC (1012 local time) on Sunday 25 October, they will not displace the first three teams to finish.
For ETAs to Cape Town, click here.
Report by event media.
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.