The fight to the finish line of Race 4 could be one of the most hotly anticipated finishes so far in the Clipper Race, as in the last 24 hours the top three teams have all entered Stealth Mode eager to hide their positions and tactics from its closest competitors.
With just 5 points separating overall leader Henri Lloyd and GREAT Britain, tension has been rising as each of the teams try to remain calm and focused with less than 200 miles to the finish line.
Skipper of GREAT Britain, Simon Talbot is feeling the pressure as he and his team fight for its second win in the Clipper Race: “As you can imagine, this is incredibly stressful on all the crew, but I am particularly feeling the pressure. I know we can only do what we can do, but the prospect of another 250 miles of match racing means that the pressure will only grow before it subsides.”
After racing close to 5,000 miles from Cape Town to Albany, Western Australia skipper of Henri Lloyd Eric Holden describes how bitterly close the race to the finish will be: “We converged with GREAT Britain, crossing gybes at 0200local time. We have been in sight ever since, having a great battle in beautiful 20 to25 knots in downwind conditions. We were ahead for most of the morning but were out played through a big squall cloud and they took the lead as we had to douse and re-hoist the kite after a 35 knot puff of wind, which was beyond the limit of the medium weight kite.”
It has been an eventful 24 hours for OneDLL, which continues to threaten for first place. After reporting several ‘kitemares’ in the last 24 hours the boat also reportedly heeled over too far and broached, as skipper Olly Cotterell explains how the team responded; “Again the crew were excellent and once ‘Big Blue’ was upright we quickly got the remnants of the medium weight kite down. ‘Kraken’ (our heavyweight kite) went straight back up and then we had an all crew debrief about the lessons we could learn. Surprisingly this is the first time we have broached.”
In other news PSP Logistics have been awarded the fastest time in the Ocean Sprint winning two valuable extra points to boost their overall standing after Race 4 into Albany.
For the Race 4 Race Viewer, click here
To read the skipper reports, click here