Clipper Race: Rich Get Richer

Published on June 28th, 2016

(June 28, 2016; Day 8) – The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race frontrunners have managed to escape the grasp of the light winds associated with the ridge of the Azores High, but the back of the fleet is still suffering in its grip.

As the front of the fleet heads north the wind has been building, and the battle for positions is intense at the make or break stage of the race with roughly 1300 nautical miles to go until Derry-Londonderry.

Yesterday’s race leader ClipperTelemed+ is in Stealth Mode until 1759 UTC today, with LMAX Exchange now in first place after edging ahead of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, now second, and GREAT Britain in third.

Dan Smith, Skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, chasing a rare home port win, described the last 24 hours on board in the more favourable winds which has allowed spinnakers to be flown in the North Atlantic.

“We’ve finally managed to clear the wind hole and now as we work our way north-east the wind is gradually building. We are still slow in the light downwind sailing due to a less than perfect lightweight spinnaker so LMAX Exchange has managed to catch us and pull away gaining 20 nautical miles over the past day.

“The wind will come back though and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for some breezy downwind sailing to allow us to claw back some of the miles.”

Greg Miller, the Skipper of Mission Performance, in seventh, said his crew were highly motivated due to being in close company over the last day.

“It has been a fun day catching to within a few miles of GREAT Britain and Garmin and working hard to stay with them and in some cases make some quite significant gains on them.

“It’s great to be back in the fight and the Warriors are relishing the close-quarters nature of this battle, where they can see the results instantly without waiting for the six-hourly schedules.

“So we have just gybed and are heading north now hoping to ‘punch’ through the receding ridge of high pressure and into the freshening trade winds north of us. At which point we can re-assess the damage done by the boats on the west side of the course, who have been sitting in more favourable winds for the last 24 hours,” Greg added.

Wendy Tuck, Skipper of Da Nang – Viet Nam, in fourth, said her tactics of sailing along the ice mark where the stronger winds were forecast had not gone entirely to plan.

“Our scooting along the ice box continues today. It looks like we were on a loser. We stayed out to the west of the course, we were looking really good there for a while. But it now seems the guys further east have done much better. It’s really hard and disappointing, but that’s yacht racing.

“Right, tomorrow is a new day, we have a lot of fight left in us, and it still is a fair way to Derry-Londonderry,” Wendo added.

Which position will ClipperTelemed+ be in when it emerges from Stealth Mode?

*All positions correct as of 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 is now racing from New York to London, starting the transatlantic crossing on June 20. The 4,894mi course includes three legs: New York, USA to Derry Londonderry, Northern Ireland; Derry Londonderry to Den Helder, The Netherlands; and Den Helder to London, UK. The Clipper Race fleet is due to arrive in Derry Londonderry, Northern Ireland between July 7 to 11. The global circuit concludes on July 30.

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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