Clipper Race: Battling for Final Positions
Published on October 19th, 2017
(October 19, 2017; Day 15) – After a fortnight of intense and incredibly close competition, seven of the twelve Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race teams crossed the finish line in Cape Town overnight, successfully completing Race 2: Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms.
The incredible battle between frontrunners Greenings and Dare To Lead continued right until the end and had spectators from all over the world glued to the Race Viewer. Greenings managed to cross the finish line just 18 minutes ahead of its rival and claimed first place for the second consecutive race.
Garmin claimed third place, whilst a last-minute shake up saw Visit Seattle pip Liverpool 2018 to the post for fourth, with Skipper Nikki Henderson and her team crossing the finish line just 20 minutes ahead of the bright pink yacht. Qingdao finished in sixth place, with Sanya Serenity Coast in seventh, whilst Nasdaq is expected to finish in eighth place.
Elsewhere in the fleet, the battle for race points is still very much on. The drag race between the ninth placed HotelPlanner.com and GREAT Britain has continued overnight, though HotelPlanner.com has managed to pull away to be 18 nautical miles from its nearest competition this morning.
With a current estimated time of arrival set for later this afternoon, HotelPlanner.com Skipper Conall Morrison says: “An exciting day and night of sailing on the good ship HotelPlanner.com. We are currently screaming along downwind under Code 2 (medium weight spinnaker). We hoisted it at 11:00 local time this morning after the front had passed, and then gybed it not long after sunset.
“Since then, wind speeds have been averaging at around 24 knots, and we have been keeping an average boat speed of around 13 knots and a maximum surf of 20.2 knots from Mike Probert on the helm. Not long ’til Cape Town!”
Further behind, Unicef is also making good progress towards Cape Town with Skipper Bob Beggs reporting: “As I am typing the watch on deck have just completed a gybe and we are now heading directly towards Cape Town again!
“I can see from the six hourly position reports that the race leaders have arrived overnight, well done guys we will be with you shortly, just five hundred and eighty nautical miles to go.”
Unicef is bracing for change over the next day as weather conditions are set to make its upcoming Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint a fast one.
Meanwhile, with just over 2,000 nautical miles to go, PSP Logistics has been enjoying some fantastic sailing conditions over the last 24 hours. Skipper Roy Taylor comments: “Still in champagne sailing conditions but expecting this to change through tomorrow into Friday to give us some rather fruity conditions for a couple of days. This will be from northwest backing into southwest as the front comes over sometime on Friday with gusts up to 50 knots.
“So, we have a little time to prepare and get ourselves ready for an exciting ride towards the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint, where we are hoping to still have 30 knots or so to drive us along.”
Despite being further behind (due to damage sustained to its starboard rudder when a whale collided with the yacht earlier in the race), thoughts on board PSP Logistics are very much with the rest of the fleet and the upcoming stopover in Cape Town. Roy adds: “It looks like it’s going to be a nail-biter right to the finish between Greenings and Dare to Lead, good luck to both teams!
“We are busy planning how we are going to achieve everything that needs to happen in a stopover without actually having much of a stopover. We have a cunning plan!”
This is the ninth time that the Clipper Race has visited South Africa in its eleven-edition history and the teams can expect generous hospitality in the picturesque setting of the V&A Waterfront, just under the view of Table Mountain, before departing on Leg 3 of the race on 31 October.
For the ETA of the remaining teams into Cape Town… click here.
The 12 teams started leg 2/race 2 – the 3,560nm 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.
Event details – Race facts – Race viewer – Facebook
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 40,000nm 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.
Race Route – Race Schedule and Miles
Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race