The Clipper Race fleet has passed the first week test in its 5,600 mile Pacific Ocean crossing and in return for overcoming the mixed weather conditions which included everything from wind holes to gale force gusts, Mother Nature appears to have today provided more rewarding racing conditions.
Many skippers have commented on blue skies, smooth swell and steady 18 knots plus breeze as Olly Cotterell of OneDLL summarised: “Champagne, that’s the conditions we have right now. The sun is out, the wind is steady and we are making good progress.”
GREAT Britain continues to lead the fleet with Derry~Londonderry~Doire still hot on its heels, just four miles behind. OneDLL is still third, 30 miles behind.
As the fleet remains spread out across north and south of the rhumb line, Team Garmin skipper Jan Ridd explains his decision to take the most southerly fleet position: “My reasons for staying further south are my memories from the 2009-10 Clipper Race, where the whole fleet got caught in a huge storm and two boats suffered catastrophic damage, luckily with no serious injuries to the crew, from hurricane force winds and mountainous seas, whereas the boats further south still managed to sail a reasonable course.
“At the moment there do not seem to be any large storms moving into the Pacific but with over 4,000 miles to go I am not willing to take any chances. The danger we face from being the most southerly boat is sailing into the high pressure to the south and running out of wind again so we will have to keep a close eye on the forecasts.”
PSP Logisitics slipped to twelfth place yesterday as its 96 hour schedule put it 129 miles behind GREAT Britain based on the yachts elapsed time.
Jamaica Get All Right resumed racing at 23:46 UTC last night, bringing an end to a difficult past 48 hours having been held up in Tateyama, Japan by customs officials following the medevac of a crew member who was later diagnosed with pneumonia.
Staying upbeat about the situation, Jamaica Get All Right skipper Pete Stirling said: “Our diversion has probably cost us around 400 miles in distance to the rest of the fleet but with still over 4,000 miles to go the race is still wide open and we have every chance of moving up the leaderboard, the only way is up now. Crew morale is high and everyone is motivated to sail fast, sail safe.”
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