Clipper Race: Trade Wind Sailing

Published on January 30th, 2016

(January 30, 2016; Day 11) – The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet is flying along in the Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race, with many boats averaging more than 120 nautical miles in the last 12 hours. LMAX Exchange and Garmin, now in third and fourth place respectively*, covered the greatest distance of 148nM as the teams make the most of the north-easterly Trade Winds.

Garmin Skipper Ashley Skett says: “It was yet another night of high speed sailing and the well-established Trade Winds are doing their thing, which makes for a comfortable angle today as we skim along the surface of the deep blue Pacific Ocean.

“We were in close proximity to ClipperTelemed+ through the night and this morning, but we have now altered course slightly on to a more direct route in search of some continued high speed sailing.

“There has been some awesome surfing over the last few days but occasionally a wave will come out of nowhere and completely soak everyone on deck. When I was on the helm just now, one wave hit me with such force and for such a long period that I had to hold onto the helm to stop myself being blown backwards by it. I would compare it to being hit full power with a fire hose,” Ash added.

In twelfth place after getting stuck in the Solomon Sea Doldrums, Mission Performance has picked up speed and was last recorded as traveling at 10.2 knots. Despite being over 600nM behind leaderDerry~Londonderry~Doire, Skipper Greg Miller says the team is hopeful they can catch up with the pack ahead: “We are now heading north-west with increasing winds that will plug us into the north-east Trade Winds in a few days. Hopefully we haven’t fallen too far behind to catch the fleet up, we will be trying regardless!

“The winds have been consistent and we have been flying along with our lightweight kite up all night and most of the afternoon. We took it down as the wind seemed to come forward of the beam and increased a little too much to hold the kite. So we have our large white sails up and are still doing similar speeds to when we had the kite up,” Greg continued.

“Our position is around 150 nautical miles west of the track of the rest of the fleet, which I am hoping will give us a slight advantage over them in the winds we will get and the ferocity of the systems that will hit them first. Fast sailing in the right direction at last!”

*Positions correct at 0900 UTC.

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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 fleet departed Australia on January 18 for the 6,070 nm leg from Whitsundays to Da Nang, Vietnam, with the fleet expected to arrive between February 17 and 21.

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.


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