The team aboard PSP Logistics bid farewell to Qingdao today as they set off for the revised start line for Race 10 after fog required the rest of the fleet, which left on Sunday, to motor-sail until conditions improved this morning.
PSP Logistics only arrived on Saturday afternoon, after several setbacks which led to its retirement, and was given additional time to more fully prepare the boat and crew to take on the ‘Mighty Pacific’. Despite starting behind the other teams the yacht will be measured on an elapsed time basis.
Skipper Chris Hollis is convinced his team can give the rest of the fleet a run for their money: “It’s very similar to when we left Albany (Race 5), when we started 36 hours behind the fleet, yet closed in to finish fourth fastest.
“The psychology makes it a little harder to race because you don’t have a boat next to you, but we will set our own gates to achieve time targets and race weather windows. In some respects you can focus more on yourself and the boat because you’re not so worried about ‘why am I going slower than them’.
Despite setting off a couple of days after the official departure ceremony, drummers were assembled to give the team their own special send-off and Qingdao officials came down to the pontoon to wish them well on the next challenging leg.
“We’re all looking forward to this trip, I know I am; it’s going to be one of the biggest challenges in this edition of the Clipper Race, although we’ve already survived some pretty harsh conditions on previous legs. This is the big one, and we’re ready for it,” added Chris.
Frank Dixie, PSP Logistics Managing Director, said it was fantastic to be back on the water and racing again.
“The rest of the fleet may not be able to see us but they can rest assured Chris and the dedicated crew on board PSP Logistics are straining every sinew to compete and win this leg."
PSP Logistics is now motor-sailing to the new start line approximately 260 nautical miles offshore where its elapsed time will start. In order to give some sense of how well they are faring against the rest of the fleet, the Clipper Race Office will compare the distance to finish 24 hours after race start for both the main fleet and then for PSP Logistics; this will provide a like-for-like comparison of their respective progress after the first 24 hours racing and then daily after that.
The scoring gate will provide the first elapsed time measure to give PSP Logistics an opportunity to compete for the bonus points on offer (three points for the fastest time to the scoring gate, two points for second and one point for third fastest).
The final race result into San Francisco will be on the same elapsed time basis with the fastest boat taking 12 points, not necessarily the first to cross the line, and on a descending scale to the last boat taking just one point.
As PSP Logistics headed east from the Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, the vital maintenance and branding containers, one of two sets that team partner and official supplier PSP Logistics manages highly effectively to ensure they are shipped around the world ahead of the race, were being readied for their return to the UK; a second set is already heading to San Francisco ready for the completion of Race 10 which is anticipated to cross the finish line under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge between 8-12 April.