Race 12 Day 4: Mission Performance and Invest Africa battle fickle winds off Jamaica coast

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The final stage of Race 12, the Spirit of Jamaica Chase is playing out with Mission Performance and Invest Africa still at sea fighting fickle winds off the coast of Jamaica. 

Home port boat Jamaica Get All Right also got stuck when the wind died off, but finished at 06:28 UTC this morning in tenth position into Port Antonio. 

The denouement of Race 12 ended on Saturday with one of the closest finishes in the Clipper 2013-14 Race so far, as just 31 seconds separated first-placed Henri Lloyd and GREAT Britain in second. 

Skipper of eleventh-placed Mission Performance, Matt Mitchell, described the frustrating situation 13 miles from the finish line. 

“We lie in the most fickle winds I think we have encountered so far in the whole race around the world. The wind is light and shifting all the time meaning that we are making very little headway as we tack to and fro. The forecast is not boding well either. 

“At the moment it's looking like we will be out here for another 12 hours at least to do these last 16 miles.” 

Rich Gould, skipper of Invest Africa, in twelfth, said: “The wind has deserted us less than 20 miles from the finish line.  We are wallowing around with the mainsail bashing relentlessly from one side to the other and the windseeker that we have just hoisted is barely managing to stay filled. 

“Today has been a really tough day.  Looking at the weather forecast I was expecting us to be bearing away and have a lightweight kite run along the coast to the finish line but it would seem that the wind has other ideas!  Having spent the entire race trying our best to sail high on the wind and creep to the east no sooner had we rounded the point did we then find that we are now having to sail up wind to get back to the west.”  

To track the remaining boats' progress, click here.

To read the skipper reports, click here.