Race 13 Day 4: High pressure system shakes up the leaderboard as Ocean Sprint approaches

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The dreaded forecast lighter winds have arrived as the fleet tackles the ridge of a high pressure system. Henri Lloyd has now relinquished its lead, as Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Old Pulteney have stormed to the top of the leaderboard eager to challenge for the impending Ocean Sprint points.

Patrick Van der Zijden - skipper of Old Pulteney - which currently lies in second place - has so far played a successful tactical game after claiming one bonus point in the Scoring Gate. He reflects on the close match racing in his skipper report today:

“We are half way through this race mileage wise, and are still neck and neck with our nearest competitors and good friends Derry~Londonderry~Doire, who is  only a mile away. This afternoon the wind lightened and changed enough to hoist our mediumweight kite which helped us average speeds of 9 to 10 knots.” 

While GREAT Britain has swapped it’s ‘dance partner’ for OneDLLSwitzerland, skippered by Vicky Ellis, has climbed into fourth place. She was relieved to have parted company after some very close racing: 

“After having sailed with the company of GREAT Britain in our wake for several days we have finally filed for separation this morning and they have shifted off east to go and play with OneDLL. This is a bit of welcome relief as the racing last night was close, very close, nearly too close (well it was GREAT Britain).”

“GREAT Britain got so close on a few occasions her bow navigation lights were illuminating our aft deck. You could have read a map, and their bowsprit was so close to us at points I nearly made my helmsman wear a hard hat! Very exciting stuff, I hope it made Simon’s birthday!”

While the fleet battle the lighter winds and the mix fortunes it brings with it, Team Garmin which saw its closest rival Jamaica Get All Right take a lead of just 10 miles, remains focussed and upbeat.

Skipper Jan Ridd said: “Hopefully the rest of the fleet will now slow down as we all enter this ridge of high pressure. We were all aware of this ridge and we could not see any practical way to avoid sailing through it, but as always we hoped that all the fleet would be affected equally.

“The crew have been working hard with all sail combinations trying to maximise our boat speed.”

To keep up-to-date with the fleet check the Race Viewer

To read all the skipper reports click here