Clipper Race: Caribbean Sea crossing
Published on June 5th, 2018
(June 5, 2018; Day 2) – Life at an angle continues for the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race on Race 11: Nasdaq Race from Panama to New York, with the 11 teams calculating their best approach to the first mandatory gate between Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
The fleet remains split in two, though all teams are now on a starboard northerly tack. The group to the west remains strongest on the leaderboard, but the racing is tight in the leading pack, with just 18 nautical miles between first and eighth place.
Sanya Serenity Coast is currently second in the standings. Skipper Wendy Tuck comments: “We have another day or so to go bashing away upwind and then the tricky tactics of which way to go through the islands. We are in AIS range with about six other boats so always nice to have company.”
Conall Morrison, Skipper of the fourth placed HotelPlanner.com, adds: “Lots of boats are close on AIS and we can compare performance and sail plans against each other. PSP Logistics, GREAT Britain, and Nasdaq have taken a different route from the bulk of the fleet so time will tell which option works out better.”
PSP Logistics remains the most easterly team and those on board are still getting used to close-hauled racing, as Skipper Matt Mitchell explains: “We should have a few days of this before we can get north enough to break out of the headwinds where we are likely to get some light winds before getting into the Trades proper to the north.”
Whilst the east-north-easterly wind has strengthened slightly in the last 24 hours, so far, the tropics have been kind, with only a little squall activity expected ahead. And in further good news, Clipper Race Meteorologist Simon Rowell reports that as the ridge of the high-pressure system heads north, it should result in a burst of wind to move the fleet through the Caribbean island maze.
Beginning June 3, the 11 teams are competing in Race 11, named the Nasdaq Race, which extends 1,900 nm in the Atlantic from Panama to New York, USA. Race 11 should take 12 days to complete, with an arrival window of June 14-16.
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. The race concludes in Liverpool on July 28.
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.
* Twelve teams began the first leg but one yacht (Greenings) ran aground just hours after the start on October 31 of the third leg from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Australia. The crew was safely evacuated but damage to the boat was deemed too extensive for it to continue in the 2017-18 edition.
Source: Clipper Ventures