Race 5 Day 9: A tactical victory as Henri Lloyd prepares to claim first win in Clipper 2013-14 Race

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After racing over 2,000 miles from Albany, Western Australia and with less than 30 miles to the finish line, will Henri Lloyd  be victorious or will Qingdao and OneDLL be able to challenge its competitor for those all-important 12 points?

With little over 10 miles separating Henri Lloyd, Qingdao and OneDLL, both teams will be doing all it can to stall Henri Lloyd from claiming its first win in the Clipper 2013-14 Race, further extending its overall lead. After being becalmed in the early hours of the morning, the team continues to battle the final miles inshore to Sydney, Australia. Skipper Eric Holden knows all too well, it’s not over ‘till it’s over:

“We had a good overnight run offshore and came out of Stealth Mode in first place. We have Qingdao and OneDLL chasing close behind and we are in for another tight finish. The boats further astern are now in Stealth Mode themselves so we can only hope that they are still a way back.”

The rest of the fleets progress has been hindered as they battle the EAC current (Eastern Australian Current) and the tactical decision of whether to go inshore or offshore. With Mission Performance and Jamaica Get All Right taking the inshore route, it seems the light and variable winds continue to hamper the competitor’s progress. Olly, Cotterell, skipper of OneDLL lost valuable ground in the last 24 hours and explains the reluctant decision to head inshore.

“Last night was exceedingly tiring. The problem we had was the further offshore we got the windier it got. Now this would not have been an issue apart from the fact that ‘Kraken’ our heavy weight kite is down and out at the moment so we had to try and keep further inshore and use the lighter winds.”

At 18:00 UTC yesterday, Old Pulteney requested to activate its Stealth Mode. Its position will be hidden from the rest of the fleet and the Race Viewer until 18;00 UTC today. (Thursday 12 December)

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