Clipper Race: Survivors of the Storm
Published on March 10th, 2016
(March 10, 2016; Day 12) – The countdown is on for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race teams still racing and battling upwind in icy conditions to make it to Race Finish in Qingdao having come through the violent storm yesterday.
LMAX Exchange looks set to take third place in The Sailing City • Qingdao Cup, with 28 nautical miles to go with Derry~Londonderry~Derry and Garmin having taken first and second place respectively today.
The northerly winds have still been strong following the storm which saw gusting winds of 70 to 80 knots, but are now starting to moderate and will continue to do so with a band of high pressure forecasted to be centred over the southern tip of South Korea on Saturday morning. This could still throw a spanner in the works for the teams with furthest to go to the finish.
Qingdao, racing to its home port, is in seventh with 132 nautical miles to go. Skipper Bob Beggs added: “The big blow has now departed and we are sailing under full main again. The temperature on deck is in single figures and minus overnight, the wind chill is the killer as we are beating to windward. Keeping skin exposed to the wind for the minimum time is essential as is rotating crew to go below for rewarming.”
Darren Ladd, Skipper of IchorCoal, in ninth, described the unpleasant conditions in the final stages of Race 8: “The good ship IchorCoal is struggling on, against the freezing cold headwinds and the relentless spray and slamming. It isn’t always easy this sailing lark and now is very definitely one of those not very easy times.
“The sun is making an appearance at last and the on-going watch are putting a brave face on it.”
Da Nang – Viet Nam Skipper Wendo Tuck said her team was facing the pressure to maintain its eighth position with 175 nM to go. “We are watching our tails with Visit Seattle and IchorCoal chasing behind us, we are all pretty keen to maintain this position, so it’s still trim, trim, trim and watching the boat speed at all times.”
Due to the rough conditions, the ETAs into Qingdao have been pushed back slightly. For update, click here.
All positions correct as of 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 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.