The wind has strengthened overnight and the teams are back to beating into 35 to 40 knots of wind, with four yachts clear of the notorious Taiwan Strait.
Sail plans have become conservative with storm sails hoisted and three reefs in the main with conditions rough because of the short, choppy seas the Strait is known for.
Eric Holden, skipper of Henri Lloyd, said the conditions are expected to last throughout the day with possibly a slight reprieve tomorrow with a few knots less predicted.
“That would be very welcomed but really we should prepare for this to continue for the next three or so days until we are well out of the Strait of Taiwan, where the wind accelerates as it funnels between Taiwan and the mainland.”
The boats are on an individual time trial, with the race to Qingdao being decided on elapsed times.
However, GREAT Britain and Derry~Londonderry~Doire set off at the exact same time so are able to match race each other.
Sean McCarter, skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, said: “For the second time in our match race, we have split tacks with GREAT Britain electing to continue on north out of the Strait while we headed east in search of more favourable current and a better wind angle to head north. It was pretty painful getting out here so let’s hope it pays in the next couple of schedules!”
The north east monsoon is expected to ease again over the next two days, but the weather is very localised around the Strait due to the Taiwanese land mass.
PSP Logistics left the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Causeway Bay at mid-day local time today (UTC + 8 hours); her departure was delayed slightly longer to also replace a faulty fuel pump. She is now motoring towards the starting gate.
To read all the skipper reports click here
To track the fleet’s progress on the official Race Viewer click here