Race 10 day 17:  Teams reach east towards San Francisco in bid to stay ahead of front forecast with next low pressure system

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The teams are reaching east towards San Francisco with the majority of the fleet positioned far enough east to stay ahead of a front associated with the next low pressure system.

The wind has been steady in strength and direction even allowing for some general maintenance to take place on some of the yachts.

GREAT Britain is still in first place, Qingdao has moved up into third, 21 miles behind the leader, and Invest Africa is three miles behind in third place.

Team Garmin skipper Jan Ridd said he was still looking back to see if he could see the front that is behind catching up, so his team would be ready to reduce sails. “However I am beginning to hope/feel that we might have got far enough east to avoid the worst of its effects.

“It looks like most of the fleet is firmly in the same airflow and we are all on virtually the same heading and around the same speed, so until the weather starts to change there should be no large gains or losses, as with a matched one design fleet the boats’ performance should be very closely matched. Hopefully we can hold this wind for as long as possible and keep making this great progress.”

PSP Logistic is currently in fifth and racing on elapsed time after setting off two days later than the rest of the fleet, however, so is in slightly stronger wind as it is closer to the front.

Skipper Chris Hollis said: “Last night I got myself up on deck to take over the helm, and although the wind at this stage was only 20 to 25 knots the helm was a handful. Once I had my bearing on the helm the boat shot off down the face of a wave at 22 knots into what seemed a never ending black hole with spray ripping over the side decks soaking everyone. It was time to pull the kite down, besides we were about 50 degrees off course due to the wind shift.”

To follow the fleet’s progress, you can see the official Race Viewer HERE

To read all the skipper reports, click HERE 

To read the crew diaries, click HERE