The Race 8 course will be shortened because of unseasonable weather conditions which is hindering the fleet’s progress towards Singapore.
Clipper Race director Justin Taylor said that just as in Race 2, where the Doldrums lasted an unseasonably long time, the fleet is now experiencing uncommon and unexpected weather patterns.
Justin said: “The sea area where they are sailing in currently should be characterised by north easterly trade winds which should be allowing for fast downwind sailing conditions.
“Instead the fleet is battling against strong headwinds which are being produced by a depression which is north of them. These strong winds are forecasted to last for another four to five days, therefore the intention is to shorten course at Sarangani virtual mark.
“When Sarangani virtual mark bears true north (000T) each yacht shall record their time. The cruise phase of the race will then commence from this point and not Basilan Gate as originally intended.”
Sarangani virtual mark is a GPS position that the yachts are required to leave to their starboard side. It is already on the original race route and will not cause any of the yachts to deviate from the tactics and strategy that they have chosen. The shortened course finish line will update on the Race Viewer shortly.
The front of the fleet is about 850 miles from Sarangani and where the course will be shortened which is approximately five days' sailing in these conditions.
Due to the headwinds that the fleet is tacking through, it is now impossible for the fleet to arrive in Singapore as planned. It is anticipated that the first arrivals will be on 10 February and into 11 February.
Race re-start from Singapore to China will now be on 16 February and not on February 15.