It’s been a bitter sweet 24 hours for the Clipper Race fleet after OneDLL could do nothing but look on as its rival, Qingdao, stormed into first place. With little over 100 miles separating the top six teams, the closing stages of the first part of Race 8 looks certain to keep everyone on the edge of their seat.
Skipper of Qingdao, Gareth Glover, knew that taking the most northerly route in the race was a risky tactic, and with over 70 miles separating the leader of the pack and second place GREAT Britain, Gareth knows that the race to Singapore is far from won:
“For the time being our route north has paid off and we have moved up a few places but just like other legs in this race it is far from over. After losing a 150 mile lead in one of the other races, the only result that matters is the one when you cross the line and we still have 400 miles and around three days or so in these light wind conditions to get there. We are going to try and stick to our tactics and try and hang onto the lead over the other yachts until the end - which I wish was as easy as saying it.”
It was a double blow for OneDLL after a dreaded wind hole and a strong current saw the Dutch team not only lose its lead, but also go back on itself by 15 miles. The most southerly yachts in the race have all experienced similar and frustrating conditions over the last 24 hours, with Switzerland, Old Pulteney and Derry~Londonderry~Doire all reporting losing miles due to the strong current and fickle winds.
However, it was a victorious night for Mission Performance. After starting the race 24 hours behind the rest of the fleet the team has now moved into eleventh place, overtaking Invest Africa and moving from twelfth place for the first time in Race 8. Skipper Matt Mitchell, describes the conditions the team has been experiencing in the last 24 hours:
“The last 24 hours have seen some great sailing and great speeds towards our waypoint. The kite has been up for well over 24 hours now and we are charging along at a rate of knots…holding our nerve has been paying off though as we are making great gains on the fleet. Let’s just hope this trend continues!”
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To read all the skipper reports click here