After racing in close formation up the Japanese coastline, the Clipper Race fleet is now spreading out as the teams reach the open Pacific Ocean and differing strategies start to provide a range of dividends in their race to San Francisco.
Light, patchy winds did grow stronger yesterday, affecting teams very differently based on their position in the fleet, as GREAT Britain skipper Simon Talbot explained: “The new wind seems to have filled in from the north, meaning that it arrived with us slightly earlier than for those positioned further south than us, allowing as to move back up the leaderboard and claw back some of the miles we lost in the wind hole off the south of Japan.”
GREAT Britain is now in first place after regaining the front pack position it lost yesterday to OneDLL, which has slipped to third place. Derry~Londonderry~Doire is now in second place, just ten miles behind the leaders.
PSP Logistics’ first 48 hour lead was erased yesterday after the yacht’s 72 hour schedule showed it in eleventh place, a delayed effect of its medevac to Japan. (PSP Logistics fleet position is updated daily at 12:50 UTC, based on its previous 24 hour progress.)
Further south, teams have been experiencing conditions more reminiscent of Race 9 as Jan Ridd, skipper of one of the fleet’s most southerly yachts, Team Garmin, commented: “Just before lunch today we saw an abrupt wind shift that saw us changing from a very comfortable beam reach, to the boat leaning over at 45 degrees.”
“As we sail close hauled into a stiff northerly wind, myself and the crew have definitely had enough of beating after having to beat all the way from Singapore to Qingdao. Let’s just hope this does not last too long and that the wind will go back behind the boat and push us nice and quickly toward San Francisco.”
Mission Performance skipper Matt Mitchell summarised the mixed conditions the fleet has experienced since Race 10 started: “We've really seen it all this race, from perfect power reaching conditions, to gale force winds to wind holes, and now the old favourite beating to windward has been added to the mix.“It is still very early days yet and it looks like we are sitting pretty comfortably in mid fleet at the moment, though just three of us have chosen a more northerly line. It will be interesting to see which group the wind Gods end up favouring.”
Jamaica Get All Right has reached Yokohama, Japan where it headed to transfer crew member Mick Wood to hospital. The yacht is now awaiting clearance by Japanese immigration so it can return to racing.
To follow the fleet’s progress, you can see the official Race Viewer HERE
To read all the skipper reports, click HERE
To read the crew diaries, click HERE