Clipper Race: Slightly More Comfortable Conditions
Published on February 10th, 2016
(February 10, 2016; Day 22) – As the current leader of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race leg to Vietnam, Derry~Londonderry~Doire was the first through the Ocean Sprint course, setting a time of 14 hours 18 minutes which has consequently proved impossible for the remaining eleven boats to match. Upon Visit Seattle’s completion of the course in a time of 19 hours 7 minutes, pending verification by the Race Office upon arrival in Da Nang, the two bonus points will be awarded to Skipper Daniel Smith and his crew.
Having rounded the southernmost waypoints, Derry~Londonderry~Doire is heading north, crossing paths with teams on their way to the Vietnam virtual mark, and is enjoying the slightly more comfortable conditions, as Skipper Daniel reports.
“Derry~Londonderry~Doire is now pounding into the waves slightly less, increasing our standard of living. The decreased wind strength together with the shelter we are getting from the reefs amongst the area named “Dangerous Grounds” has meant that the waves are lower and less steep.
“This morning we passed Ladd Reef with its metal beacon. Without a decent chart it is easy to see how a boat could end up on there. The chart shows five ship wrecks although I am sure there are more.”
Approximately 80 nautical miles behind is GREAT Britain, closely followed by Garmin in third. Rather than follow the race leader, the pair have turned north slightly earlier, as they try to determine the best route around the various obstacles throughout the course. Peter Thornton, Skipper of GREAT Britain says: “We’ve been diving through a couple of gaps in the reefs down south, tacking our way up the south side of the race course.
“The winds are a bit shifty in direction (as you can probably tell by our track on the Race Viewer) but it’s difficult to know if it’s due to the section of water we’re passing through or if it’s a general shift across a wide area. The difficulty with positioning at the moment is having to stay relatively close to the track, because we don’t know which virtual waypoint will be our turning point, at the same time as trying to take into account current and forecast wind direction. It’s pretty good sailing weather out here right now.”
The forecast suggests that the winds should carry on easing and veering east, east-north-east for the next 2-3 days before coming back in from the north-east.
After recently reporting heavy sail and equipment damage, Mission Performance has continued racing having replaced the inner forestay with a spectra rope. This allows the team to fly a full mainsail and Yankee. Skipper Greg Miller says: “The wind has picked up slightly and we seem to be into the double figures with our restriction of sails. This is a good thing!
“With no flying of spinnakers it means that we have time to do a lot of the jobs that would have waited until we got into Da Nang. We are slowly losing our lead over Visit Seattle as expected with them able to fly spinnakers, so the best we can hope for on this race is twelfth place. It is unfortunate but the up side is that we can prep most of the stuff while not pressed with trimming excessively and we can also get the boat properly prepared for the upwind bit that is to come in a few days’ time.”
The Ocean Sprint times recorded by all the teams are as follows:
14h 18m Derry~Londonderry~Doire
16h 49m Garmin
17h 29m Da Nang – Viet Nam
17h 33m GREAT Britain
18h 53m LMAX Exchange
19h 07m Visit Seattle
20h 10m Qingdao
21h 04m PSP Logistics
21h 20m IchorCoal
27h 58m Mission Performance
30h 26m Unicef
34h 31m ClipperTelemed+ (due to anchoring to remove a spinnaker wrap)
As you will have noticed on the Race Viewer, with the new course and teams crossing paths, the Current Race Standings table may not always be exact so please refer to the map for more accurate positions.
*Positions correct as at 1000 UTC.
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 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.