With factor 50 sunscreen the fashion of the day the fleet continue battle uncomfortable conditions in soaring tropical temperatures as the competition continues to heat up with teams eager to make gains as the fleet close in on each other.
In the last 24 hours Henri Lloyd slipped ahead of Derry~Londonderry~Doire to claim the lead but in the last hour the Northern Irish entry has fought back and reclaimed its title. However, with just over 200 miles separating the current leader from twelfth place Mission Performance, this race is far from decided.
The UK based company and sponsor Mission Performance specialise in delivering high impact training programmes that take lessons from adventures in challenging environments. With this mind skipper Matt Mitchell and his team know that preparation and communication is everything if they stand a chance of winning a podium position and achieving the goals for the team in Race 8.
“During our second team meeting of the race yesterday we started to talk about our team goals and focus for Race 8. This crew sees a focus on boat performance, personal development as well as safety.”
It was an exciting 24 hours for PSP Logistics and GREAT Britain after a dual that saw PSP Logistics win the first round. PSP Logistics set its sights on overtaking the UK entry and after a seamless kite change has moved up to eighth place, just one mile ahead of GREAT Britain. Skipper Chris Hollis described the smooth manoeuvre.
“The wind is up and down with the direction change here and there. This afternoon, we took the opportunity to hoist a shy kite. We had it rigged since dawn, and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, boom, up it went. It took GREAT Britain about an hour to get sorted, and in that time we got our nose in front of them. Now, we have to fend them of for the next 25 days! Let the battle continue.”
As the top half the fleet jostle for positions experienced skipper Pete Stirling of Jamaica Get All Right who also skippered the Jamaica Lightning Bolt entry in the Clipper 2009-10 Race, knows that at this stage the race is still anyone’s for the taking as his team set its sights firmly on the impending Scoring Gate.
“We have been heading north east for the last couple of days to give us an angle to run with a spinnaker into the Scoring Gate (200 miles away). An hour ago at watch changeover we hoisted the spinnaker and dropped the Yankee and staysail. We are now laying a course straight for the Scoring Gate at good speed and can hopefully make up some of the places we have lost to other boats by heading east of the rhumb line.”