06 October 2023

“One thing is for sure… the racing is not done yet, and there may be many more twists and turns to come in Race 2: Hundred Years Cup.”

In the latest Race Office insight, Clipper Race Director, Mark Light, gives an interesting update on the race ahead as the competition for the top spot heats up.

Mark said “Something is lurking ahead that may well change the look of this race…

“At 1200 UTC on Friday 06 October, the Clipper Race fleet is making good speeds and gybing its way southwards and around Cabo Frio. The whole fleet is making the most of the stellar downwind conditions under spinnakers and averaging between 10-12 knots speed over ground (SOG). There is some great racing going on, hour after hour, with several boats close to each other (relatively speaking) especially on a long ocean passage such as this.

“Most notably, the leading pair has become a threesome…Yacht Club Punta Del Este and Perseverance have had a long running battle with each other, but now PSP Logistics, led by Clipper Race veteran, Mike Miller, has gradually, but consistently been making up ground and finally earned the right to knock on the door and join the party at the front of the pack (politely I would say, knowing Mike).

“However, I hope they don’t get too comfortable with their positions, as a cursory glance over their shoulders will show that new kid on the Clipper Race block, Ryan Gibson, is leading a fair charge on Dare To Lead and wants to join the group to make a fearsome foursome at the front.

“Throughout the fleet, progress has been really good since the Doldrums Corridor and all the way across the Ocean Sprint area, but things are changing.

“The weather Gods are obviously watching the Race Viewer with interest and fearing an early arrival of the fleet (putting the Clipper Race Director’s arrival window under severe scrutiny), they have conjured up a meteorological twist.

“Just ahead of the fleet, and off to the east of the southern portion of Brazil, lies a high-pressure zone which will continue moving eastwards leaving behind a ridge of light winds and a change in direction thereafter. The downwind conditions will cease and rest for a bit, causing the fleet to stall, before raising back up and giving the intrepid Clipper Race crew a new upwind challenge. An end to spinnakers, back to life on the heel, plenty of cold water over the decks and a few green faces, as the teams power their way forwards into the headwinds.

“We may well see the entire fleet compacting as the front boats head into these changing conditions, whilst the teams behind continue to enjoy the powerful downhill winds for some extra hours and make some valuable gains.

“How quickly the front boats get through and how they tackle nature’s hurdle remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure… the racing is not done yet, and there may be many more twists and turns to come in Race 2: Hundred Years Cup before the teams can relax enough and raise the coast of Punta del Este on their horizon.”

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