Clipper Race: Life at an Angle
Published on February 29th, 2016
(February 29, 2016; Day 2) – With the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet on an easterly course currently headed towards Taiwan on the race to Qingdao, the wind is picking up and will continue to do so for the next 18-24 hours.
Clipper Race Meteorologist Simon Rowell has predicted wind speeds will reach 35 knots, with slightly higher gusts on Day 2 of Race 8: The Sailing City • Qingdao Cup.
Over the last 24 hours, the fleet has been tacking in close quarters to avoid the Paracel Islands, and is now headed to windward in a small sea state and around 25 knots of wind.
ClipperTelemed+ is now heading the fleet with Visit Seattle in second place and LMAX Exchange in third place.
Ashley Skett, Skipper of Garmin, in seventh, said with the wind building, careful consideration was needed to find the right sail plan.
“Eventually last night we found a good combination of boat speed and pointing ability as we attempt to make up a bit of ground on the front-runners.
“After lots of tacking to avoid some islands, we are now on an easterly course in the middle of the pack as we all try to make some decent progress to windward. The wind has slowly been building and selecting the correct sail plan took a lot of consideration and eventually turned into a bit of a trial and error process, much to the frustration of the soaking wet bow team I am assuming!” Ash added.
Matt Mitchell, Skipper of ClipperTelemed+, currently in first, said things were going pretty well on board with the crew slowly getting used to life at an angle and the green monster making its last appearance.
“Yesterday’s drag race turned into a bit of a tacking battle as we made our way up a restricted area of the race course, other boats favoured a few long tacks however I decided to short tack up to the limit of the restricted area, and it seems to have paid off so far.
“Now we are back to drag racing mode and we have been on one tack for a while now. Right now we are concentrating on keeping the boat going as fast as we can. We are up against some stiff competition so the pressure is on,” Matt added.
All positions correct as at 0900 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 on January 18 from Whitsundays, Australia for the two-part 6,985 mile course that stops in Da Nang, Vietnam before restarting on February 27 and continuing to Qingdao, China.
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.