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Qingdao, China to San Francisco - Part 2

Race - 10

16 APR 2014 - Race Director: Justin Taylor

2013-14: Race 10, Qingdao to San Francisco summary: Part 2

In part 1 of my summary, I mentioned that Mission Performance was playing a risky game by shaping its course to go so far north as the first Pacific depression was approaching them.  Well, that really was the crux for them as the found themselves 600 miles from San Francisco whilst the front runners have finished.

Meanwhile the rest of the fleet headed on a more southerly course and reaped the benefits of a following wind, with fast boat speeds being recorded.

PSP Logistics which started 36 hours after the rest of the fleet did very well despite having to stop in Japan to disembark a crew member with a dislocated shoulder.  Unfortunately, the team just could not benefit from the more favourable wind conditions the rest of the fleet enjoyed.  They consistently hovered around tenth position, but at one stage occupied the top spot. We can only guess at what might have been.

A similar fate befell on Jamaica Get All Right, which found itself in a similar position to PSP Logistics after disembarking an ill crew member.  It seemed to be getting the upper hand over Mission Performance, both having their own personal duel but ended up finishing 1 hour behind.

Invest Africa really put its foot down in this race and managed to secure 3 points as it was the first yacht to cross the Scoring Gate.  Hot on their heels was Henri Lloyd (2 points), a mere 21 minutes behind, and then Switzerland (1 point).

Of course the race was not without drama.  Shortly after crossing the International Date Line, a crew member was washed off the foredeck of Derry~Londonderry~Doire during a sail change.  Andrew Taylor spent 90 minutes in the water before being rescued by his crew.  The full story of this event can be read else-where, however I must commend not just Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew for its professionalism in recovering him but also to the crew of OneDLL, who with no regard to its race position, ceased racing immediately after hearing the mayday call to turn back and render assistance.  For this suspension in racing, OneDLL received 2 hours and 57 minutes of redress which will be deducted from their overall elapsed time for Race 10.

Thankfully the rest of the race was not quite as eventful and the majority of the fleet kept on posting great daily runs.  In fact the 300 mile Ocean Sprint, between the lines of longitude of 142W and 136W was won by OneDLL in an amazing time of 22 hours and 6 minutes with an average speed above 13 knots.  Unfortunately however, it did not declare its start time of the sprint within the time limit rules and was therefore disqualified. This meant the second fastest yacht, Henri Lloyd, which was just 16 minutes slower, was awarded the 2 points for the Ocean Sprint.  A double bonus for Henri Lloyd after also claiming the two points in the Scoring Gate, and a both a bitter pill and a harsh lesson for OneDLL.

The final stages of the race were dominated by a high pressure system which was lingering near the West Coast.  This inevitably slowed the fleet down.  Henri Lloyd opted for an inshore route and paid the price.  The breeze began to die and go behind them which brought slower boat speed than that for GREAT Britain which managed to overhaul a 20 mile deficit and claim first place across the finish line, under the stunning night time setting of San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Bridge.

GREAT Britain managed to knock 16 hours off of the previous Clipper Race record set by Gold Coast Australia in the 11-12 Race for the Pacific crossing, recording a total elapsed time of 603 hours.  This means it averaged 9.6 knots from start to finish.

Well done to all the skippers and crews for conquering the mighty Pacific Ocean.  Special mention is made to the crew of OneDLL for rendering assistance to Derry~Londonderry~Doire during the MOB incident.  I would also like to commend the crew of Derry~ Londonderry ~Doire for remaining calm and professional in recovering its MOB.  PSP Logistics deserves a mention for determination and persistence.  It is always difficult to race alone and against yourself.

You can view the Race 10 standings as well as the overall race standings a href="http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/race-standings" target="_self">here.