With just a few miles separating the top three teams and with less than 35 miles until the finish line of Race 7, the fierce sprint to win the maximum 12 points and secure a coveted podium position is well underway.
The Northern Irish entry, Derry~Londonderry~Doire has led for the majority of 1075 mile sprint that is Race 7. However, could it be all change in the final chapter of this race as Switzerland, and current overall leader OneDLL show no sign of relinquishing its lead as it begins the final chase to Brisbane, Australia.
Skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, Sean McCarter knows a mistake at this vital stage of the race could cost him and his team those all-important 12 points and the teams second consecutive win.
“Well we're less than 50 miles from the finish and speeding towards it at speeds of up to 20 knots. Our good friends on OneDLL were unlucky to lose their medium weight spinnaker yesterday evening and have dropped back a little from ourselves and Switzerland.
“We have at least one gybe to lay the finish line and are all praying that our repaired heavyweight kite will survive it. We could drop, repack, gybe and re-hoist but this would almost certainly give Switzerland the advantage.”
PSP logistics is in full ‘work mode’ making full use of the teams retirement from Race 7 which will allow the team more time to prepare in Brisbane ahead of Leg 5 and the 5,000 mile race to Singapore and Qingdao, China.
With the majority of the fleet having successfully completed the Ocean Sprint, GREAT Britain’s ‘unlucky’ streak struck again with yet another Ocean Sprint set back. Skipper Simon Talbot, explains:
“You may remember that every time we attempt to have a serious go at an Ocean Sprint, something, generally spinnaker related, goes wrong. Well you guessed it, this time was no exception, we were running along really nicely under our medium weight spinnaker, averaging nearly 14 knots and making excellent progress when one particularly big wave picked the boat up and rounded her up to windward.
“Add to this that the big wave also brought with it some extra wind, as is often the case, then you may be able to guess what happened next. Yes, you got it, an almighty broach and before we had time to recover, the bulk of the spinnaker was in the water with a small section of the head still flying from the mast top - argh! The curse had struck again.”