Race 11 Day 12: GREAT Britain first across second mandatory gate of Race 11

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With a lead of 22 miles in Race 11, GREAT Britain was the first team to cross the Angel Gate as the team continues to do all it can to keep hold of the lead, as forecasted light winds look set to scupper the fleet’s progress in the PSP Logistics Panama 100 Cup.

As Derry~Londonderry~Doire made a bid for second place over night, Jamaica Get All Right is less than 10 miles behind as the battle for the coveted podium position rumbles on. After crossing the second gate in Race 11 in first place, skipper of GREAT Britain, Simon Talbot knows these small victories are proving invaluable for morale on board.

“At 02:59:04 UTC today we passed through Angel Gate, the second of the compulsory gates that are part of the course for this race,” Simon explained.

“Like the first gate, we managed to hold on to our lead and pass through in first place, which was a great boost to the team and fair reward for all our hard work over the last couple of days in the sweltering heat, which has now become inescapable.”.

Due to the light winds the fleet has experienced on previous editions of the Clipper Race, the Race Committee took the decision to include four gates on the Race 11 course as indicated in the Sailing Instructions. The Acapulco, Angel, Remedios and Cabo Blanco gates are not Scoring Gates, they are however points at which if the course needs to be shortened to allow the fleet to meet the deadline for transiting the Panama Canal, it can be fairly. Race Director, Justin Taylor explains:

“These gates are mandatory gates which all the yachts must pass through. They are not Scoring Gates. In the last two editions of the race we have found it necessary to shorten the course due to lack of wind as the yachts get further south.  This is so we can meet the deadline for transiting the Panama Canal.  The use of the gates gives the Race Committee a mechanism for shortening course which is fair to all the yachts.”

With Qingdao and PSP logistics still in Stealth Mode, Team Garmin’s risky tactic to head further east and inshore to avoid the forecast light winds might be a decision skipper Jan Ridd is starting to regret.

“Here on Team Garmin we are getting a little bit nervous, as we have made a bold move to position ourselves as far to the east as we could and lost a lot of ground on the other boats in doing so,“ Jan said.

“The reason being is we anticipated that most of the fleet would run into some very light winds making it very hard for them to sail whereas we should have just enough pressure to carry on sailing, but unfortunately the schedules are showing that most of the fleet have a fairly decent breeze and are managing better mileage than Team Garmin, which is rather annoying.” 

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