It was night of celebrations for GREAT Britain after it stormed to victory to claim the maximum three points, the team’s first ever bonus points in the Clipper 2013-14 Race. Team Garmin and Derry~Londonderry~Doire fought to the bitter end to claim the second and third place points respectively.
While GREAT Britain has won an impressive seven podium positions so far, it has not enjoyed the same success with bonus points. Skipper Simon Talbot discusses the ‘Scoring Gate curse’ and how it almost struck again yesterday:
“Even yesterday the curse struck, we were around 20 miles from the Scoring Gate, having been flying our spinnaker for the best part of four days without problem, when there was a loud bang and the shout was heard ‘All hands on deck, kite in the water’. The look on people’s faces said it all, ‘Oh no, not again, the curse!’ Thankfully this time luck was on our side and the spinnaker was very quickly retrieved from the water and another one hoisted, net time consumed 28 minutes, net loss on the water 2 miles! I am sure you can start to understand why our cortisol levels were somewhat elevated.”
With Switzerland remaining in Stealth Mode until 12:00 UTC today, the team will have to wait a little while longer to see if their tactics have paid off. Meanwhile, with the wind forecasted to die off, becoming fickle and changeable, skipper of Invest Africa, Rich Gould, is facing a big decision as his team battles to improve on its mid-fleet position. Rich explained:
“We are currently trying to sail pretty much south east and the wind is pretty much from the north west which means it is right behind us, which is causing lots of problems! As we have seen before a Clipper 70 does not like to sail dead downwind which now means that we must make the right call in how much extra distance we are willing to sail to gain extra speed without going too far astray from the rhumb line, all in all its proving to be rather stressful for the skipper.”
To read the skipper reports click here