Clipper Race: Changeable Conditions for Final Finishers
Published on October 23rd, 2015
(October 23, 2015; Race 2, Day 16) – The four Clipper Round the World Yacht Race teams still racing are managing the wind shifts on the final push into Cape Town.
Southerly boat Qingdao, which struggled with changeable winds yesterday, is now making 8.7 knots, with 662 nautical miles to go to the finish line as of 0700 UTC.
Skipper Igor Gotlibovych said: “We are moving again after a night of fickle winds. We were back to peeling from spinnaker to windseeker and from windseeker to Yankee, and trimming as the wind changed every minute.
“In the meantime round the world crew member Sophie Dummer has once again turned the sail locker into a loft, and the heavyweight spinnaker repair is progressing well – hopefully this will save us a lot of time in Cape Town.
“Well done to all who have finished Race 2, the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms, and enjoy your stay!”
But it was a different story for Visit Seattle which had very strong winds last night, and is due to cross the finish line this morning between 1100 and 1300 local time/0900-1100 UTC.
Huw Fernie, Skipper of Visit Seattle, said: “A little wind-shift here and there is expected, but as of sunset it all went into the “it’s a bit fruity out there” stage – normal folk would call it a hurricane. Given our time at sea no one is feeling that normal anymore, so we can stick with just a tad breezy for now.
“With our bright orange storm sails up, we carried on as best we could, with impressive waves all around the boat, over the boat and sometimes inside the boat. It’s all over now, in fact since sunrise the wind has really dropped off and now it’s time for bigger sails, one final – final push should see us there,” Huw added.
The most northerly team LMAX Exchange is currently heeling over and smashing through waves, and expecting more of a wind shift so it can ease its sheets and bear downwind towards the finish.
Estimating the overall race standings, Race Director Justin Taylor updates: “Based on average speed so far LMAX Exchange is currently in eighth place and Qingdao is tenth. Although Qingdao took a dive to the south in order to avoid the high pressure system, it has still encountered light and fickle winds last night. LMAX Exchange decided to bite the bullet and go for the more direct route to Cape Town and has inevitably hit the light winds of that high.”
This race 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 three days 14 hours and ten minutes after the rest of the fleet.
Unicef is expected to cross the line between 2100 and 0000 tonight local time.
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.