Race 14, Day 5: Yachts on beam reach as wind strengthens and veersBack to archive
The wind has strengthened dramatically and veered round to the north after a series of frontal squalls passed over the fleet, meaning the teams have gybed and are now racing with white sails up.
After several days of frustratingly slow progress, spinnakers have been replaced with the Yankee 1 or 2 as the shift finally came through and boat speeds picked up.
Jamaica Get All Right, the most southerly yacht in the fleet is being helped along by the Gulf Stream current and still leads Race 14.
Derry~Londonderry~Doire has moved ahead of close rivals Switzerland into second position.
Simon Talbot, skipper of GREAT Britain, currently in fourth, said: “It was so great to finally have enough wind to get us fully up to speed and once again see us doing what we are capable of in terms of powering along and eating the miles.
“It was like a breath of fresh air when the front passed over us this morning, bringing with it a rapid shift to the north in the direction of the wind and an increase in strength that meant our spinnaker was rapidly replaced with our fixed luff sails as we powered up to full speed on a cracking beam reach.
“This new breeze continued to build making for some stunning sailing during the afternoon and early evening, still to the backdrop of clear blue sky and mild air temperatures.”
Gareth Glover, skipper of Qingdao, in ninth place, said boat speed was in double figures and the team dropped the light weight kite just before the wind built to more than 25 knots.
“After rigging our heavy weight kite we decided that the Yankee 1 wound be a better plan and no staysail on a close reach.
“This kept us moving most of the day with reef one in the main but as night fell, we swapped to the Yankee 3 staysail and reefs in the main as the wind went forwards again and it became more of a beat. We also must have found a bit of current as our boat speed is above what we should have for this sail plan and hope we can close the gaps on the yacht in front.”
Simon Rowell, the Clipper Race's meteorologist, said the fleet should have good, generally northerly winds for the next two days or so off the back of the low that's moving away to the east of the fleet now, then a day or so of lighter westerly winds after that before the next system moves in behind them.
To track the fleet's progress, click here.
To read all the skipper reports, click here.
To read the crew diaries, click here.