‘Exceptional’ conditions in Doldrums

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Clipper Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston sent a message to the fleet for all the crew, today, acknowledging the challenges of getting through the doldrums over the last few days.

He said: “The 2013-14 race has suffered more getting through the Doldrums than any previous Clipper Race.   We know that the Doldrums can be unpredictable, but this extent of calms is not what we have usually experienced.   Thankfully the fleet is now beginning to emerge on the southern side but it has been a painful experience both for the crews and for those of us watching the very slow progress.  

“We can say though that ocean sailing is never predictable and at least the crews can boast that they have experienced a really tough Doldrums passage – although I suspect it will appear as something to be proud of in retrospect!

“As we watch the boats crawl south and begin to pick up speed as they get into the south east trade winds, the Clipper team is mobilising and heading for Rio to prepare for the arrival.”   

Sir Robin also revealed that due to the exceptional conditions compounded by some boats experiencing problems with their watermakers, those affected would now receive redress if they stopped racing to take on fresh supplies from other boats.

“The Race Committee considers this to be an exceptional safety issue, and the cause was not due to misuse by crews.   The amount of redress for the boats involved will be announced shortly,” explained Sir Robin.

The Watermaker manufacturers will be attending Rio to correct the problem which has been identified as resulting from a faulty batch of components, as reported on Wednesday.