Race 9.1 Day 1: Challenging conditions as teams head towards Taiwan Strait

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Race 9 has restarted, with strong head winds, a solid current and rough seas around the entrance to the Taiwan Strait, warming up the crews for what they will face over the coming weeks.

Mission Performance, GREAT Britain, Derry~Londonderry~Doire, Invest Africa, Team Garmin, Switzerland, Henri Lloyd, Old Pulteney and Qingdao have all restarted the race to China after carrying out forestay repairs in Hong Kong. 

The teams will compete in a 1000-mile Ocean Sprint, using elapsed times to determine the winner as the yachts are setting off at different times. 

Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance, said: “It's been a wild ride in the washing machine over the last 24 hours. We've had some pretty strong winds and some fairly lumpy seas which we are crashing into at a rate of knots. On the odd occasion the boat is airborne too which makes for some interesting noises down below. 

“We are approaching the entrance to the Taiwan Strait where we are expecting the funnelling effect produced by the proximity of Taiwan and China to increase the wind a reasonable amount, at the moment we have a steady 35 knots, so life is certainly going to be getting more exciting. That coupled with the notorious fishing fleets one finds around here, plus the heavy shipping traffic will mean a fairly interesting few days for the fleet!” 

Simon Talbot, skipper of GREAT Britain, said once the yacht is clear of the Taiwan Strait, the wind should free a little and allow for more solid progress. 

“For the moment that seems like a dim and distant point in the future as it is likely to take at least another three or even four days to cover thee 250 odd miles to the top of the Strait, during which time we are expecting another pulse of Monsoon to blow through, bringing with it more adverse current and 30 knot winds, so we just have to keep plugging away and optimising our course as best we can.” 

PSP Logistics, Jamaica Get All Right and OneDLL are arriving into Hong Kong today to carry out their forestay repairs.

To read all the skipper reports click here 

To track the fleet’s progress on the official Race Viewer click here