Clipper Race: The Three Frontrunners

Published on June 5th, 2016

(June 5, 2016; Day 5) – Garmin has taken the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race lead over former race leader ClipperTelemed+, as the intense fight to be first into New York continues on day 5 of the LMAX Exchange – RACE of THE AMERICAS.

Garmin has also been victorious at the Scoring Gate, taking the maximum three points on offer, with Visit Seattle close behind, taking two points, and Mission Performance – in twelfth place overall – securing one point for crossing it third.

On the overall leaderboard, ClipperTelemed+ is 17 nm behind in second place, and after its surprise emergence from Stealth Mode in second place, Visit Seattle is now in third, 17.74 nm behind the leader.

The three frontrunners are now some 50 nautical miles in front of the rest of the fleet, with Derry~Londonderry~Doire in fourth position.

Huw Fernie, Skipper of Visit Seattle, said the last day had gone very well for his team.

“The big news is that we have claimed some points from a Scoring Gate for the first time in the last eleven races, an achievement the whole team are rightly proud of.

“Congratulations of course to Ash and his team on Garmin who have put in a great show while in Stealth Mode.

“Progress is still very inconstant and keeping Visit Seattle moving at a good speed requires a lot of attention. Despite that we’ve logged a decent daily run and are just about holding our position against the rest of the fleet, which is now all moving again.

“Looking ahead it seems the next two days will be relatively settled and it’s going to be another drag race north. Well, that’s the forecast, in reality there will be a few wind holes, squall clouds and other little things to help us out or slow us down so we’ll need to keep focused, as always,” Huw added.

Martin Clough, Skipper of Unicef, in eighth place, said his team had also enjoyed a memorable day yesterday.

“After quite a frustrating race so far, we have just had the most pleasurable 24 hours sailing for a long time.

“From a few boat lengths off PSP Logistics last night and this morning rounding the lighthouse, and the medium and lightweight spinnaker reaching alongside Qingdao this afternoon, it’s been a memorable day.

“This evening the guys are struggling to helm a straight course due to looking up at the most amazing star spectacle.

“A request has come from the crew to say well done and Go Visit Seattle to Huw and Co.!

“The met forecast looks like giving the fleet a fast ride to New York. In the Clipper 2000-01 Race I recall stalling pilotage so we could enter the harbour and appreciate the spectacle at dawn. It is the most prolific harbour I have ever entered and am looking forward to the repeat,” added Martin.

Simon Rowell, the Clipper Race’s Meteorologist, said an approaching front with a strong low is currently developing near the Yucatan Peninsula. It will certainly bring gale force winds to the fleet in about three days’ time as the front reaches it, adding an extra challenge as the race nears its conclusion.

Based on current speeds and estimates, the leading boats could arrive into Liberty Landing Marina on June 10, and ETAs will be published tomorrow.

*All positions correct as of 1000 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 current 1930nm race from Panama to New York got underway at 1208 UTC (0708 local time) on Tuesday May 31 with a Le Mans start in the Caribbean Sea.

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.

Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

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