Clipper Cup: Back to its full complement
Published on October 11th, 2017
(October 11, 2017; Day 7) – The full fleet of 12 teams competing in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race is back to capacity as PSP Logistics has completed their repairs and slipped lines from the city of Piriapolis in Uruguay yesterday evening.
After spending the past five days receiving repairs to rudder damage, sustained after a whale collided with the boat earlier in Leg 2, the team is expected to resume racing in twelfth position, once it reaches the closest position of the collision.
While there will be no redress awarded but PSP Logistics, the team will be under race conditions, meaning it will still be eligible to compete for the bonus points in the Elliot Brown Race 2 Ocean Sprint.
“A remarkable job was done in Piriapolis by members of the Clipper Race Office and Maintenance Team (Dan Smith, Justin Haller and Matt Pettit) considering the damage sustained,” notes PSP Logistics skipper Roy Taylor. “Now into our first night watch for a wee while and everybody is getting settled back into routines and looking forward to commencing racing sometime tomorrow evening.”
Meanwhile, the leading pack is making great progress towards Cape Town and there are less than ten nautical miles separating the top three teams.
Andy Woodruff, Interim Skipper of first-placed Greenings, reports: “We should pass the halfway point of Leg 2 by lunchtime today as we make our way rather quickly towards it. I am also excited to see if we can break the 300 mile a day barrier today – we have to be close to it!”
Garmin and Dare To Lead, in second and third place respectively, are hot on the heels of the race leader with Dare To Lead Skipper, Dale Smyth, explaining: “We are currently riding hard the easterly side of a depression and making good pace.”
Whilst keeping pace with the race leader, it is very close racing with the rest of the fleet as well and he added: “The competition is so tight out here that after 1500 nautical miles we are still fighting out mile per mile with about seven boats. One mistake or bad sail change could take you from first to tenth quite easily. The next few days look fast so we should gobble up another 1000 miles easily.”
Fourth-placed Sanya Serenity Coast is around 40nm off the pace, but preparing for more wind, with Skipper Wendy Tuck reporting: “Well, the next blow is here now and I expect will increase over the next couple of hours. All good and we are prepared for it. All the heavy weather steerers are looking forward to it; it’s a bit like a Southern Ocean training run.”
Taking a more southerly course is GREAT Britain, currently in fifth and around 60nm off the lead, while Visit Seattle is converging with the fleet in sixth position after heading north for to secure a bonus point in the race to the Scoring Gate. HotelPlanner.com and Nasdaq are very close together, in seventh and eighth respectively, and around 80nm behind the race leader.
Qingdao, in ninth, has been continuing to celebrate its three bonus points for being the first team to reach the Scoring Gate but Skipper, Chris Kobusch, explains: “Since then Liverpool 2018 [in tenth] has been hot on our heels and, even though the team had some problems with their Mainsail battens, Liverpool 2018 is still within AIS (Automatic Identification System) range and the distance to them has been more or less the same over the last day or so.”
The teams in the east are preparing for an incoming front, which is currently over Unicef in eleventh position. Clipper Race Meteorologist, Simon Rowell, explains that the front is not travelling much faster than the teams further east and that they should get strong north-westerly winds for at least another 24 hours making for an action-packed day or so ahead of the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint.
The 12 teams started leg 2/race 2 – the 3,560 nm leg from Punta del Este, Uruguay to Cape Town, South Africa – on October 4, and is due to finish between October 19 and 22 and will be berthed at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront until October 31.
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