Clipper Race: Still Battling for Positions
Published on September 22nd, 2017
(September 22, 2017; Day 33) – Several teams racing the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race continue to jostle for position after Sanya Serenity Coast claimed line honors yesterday afternoon, closely followed by PSP Logistics and GREAT Britain who arrived, second and third respectively, in to Punta del Este late at night.
Qingdao and Dare To Lead were the fourth and fifth teams to cross the line in the early hours of this morning and were greeted by a warm welcome from supporters despite the wet weather.
HotelPlanner.com is now arriving into Punta del Este after crossing the line in sixth place, and an incredibly close finish is expected between Garmin and Liverpool 2018. Lance Shepherd, Liverpool 2018 Skipper, reported at 0700 (UTC), “Well, here we are after approximately 7,000 nautical miles and only 36nM to go, jostling for…seventh, or eighth as a position…
“The whole fleet is so close it’s absolutely unbelievable. The boats and the crews have come so far in just over a month, it astounds me.”
Unicef is expected to be the ninth team to cross the line over the next few hours and Skipper, Bob Beggs, said, “The time for reflection will come later after a shower, a steak, and possibly a beer or two. But one thing’s for sure, team Unicef can be proud of their achievements. They have worked tirelessly on all the tasks required to race and live in this 70-foot yacht, always coming up with solutions and smiles no matter the weather or time of day.”
Visit Seattle is currently in tenth place after spending another day in a wind hole, but the team is now moving again and expected to arrive in to Punta del Este later today.
Greenings is expected to be the eleventh team to cross the line on Saturday but the redress awarded by the Race Committee, for the forced diversion to Porto for a replacement Skipper, will still need to be taken in to account. Relief Skipper, Dan Smith, said: “We have been pushing hard all day with our Code 2 (medium weight spinnaker) racing the clock into Punta del Este.
“Our exciting spinnaker run became slower and more manageable at lunch time and we were then faced with a variable wind through the afternoon. During the evening, the wind eased as we passed the front. The focus now is very much on keeping the boat moving in the right direction and keeping the sails trimmed well. We reckon we are less than one day out!”
Nasdaq, in twelfth position, is making good progress and is expected to arrive on Sunday. Skipper Rob Graham said, “Nasdaq managed to maintain good speed throughout yesterday with both watches making small adjustments to sail trim to get the best out of the boat and the wind. We also managed to point at our destination, which to non-sailors sounds obvious (why would you point anywhere else?), but any sailor will tell you that it doesn’t seem to happen very often.”
Clipper Race Meteorologist, Simon Rowell, has informed the remaining teams that are racing that a front is moving up the coast with the low heading out to sea. He added, “It’ll carry on being a rather cloudy and squally one too for the southern boats, always more incentive to get through it quicker!”
As the low moves out to sea it should pass ahead of the northern boats, so all teams should finish by the close of the weekend.
Race 2 of the Clipper 2017-18 Race starts on October 4, departing Punta del Este and heading back into the Southern Atlantic as teams take on the 3,560 nm mile journey to Cape Town, South Africa.
For ETAs for the teams… click here.
The 12 teams started the 6,400 nm leg from Liverpool, UK to Punta del Este, Uruguay on August 20, which is expected to take approximately 35 days to complete, making it the longest ever in the race’s 21-year history.
Background: Held biennially, the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race got underway August 20 for the fleet of twelve identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. The 40,000 nm course is divided into 13 individual races with the team having the best cumulative score winning the Clipper Race Trophy. Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew that signs up for one, some, or all the races. The 2017-18 race, expected to take 11 months, has attracted 712 people representing 41 nationalities, making it the largest to date.
Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race