Clipper Ventures 10 hit by cold front in final 45 miles to Hobart

29 December 2014

Clipper Ventures 10 has been hit by a cold Westerly front in the final 45 miles of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

There was a drop of 22 bars in 12 hours on the barometer and as the boat was due to round Tasman Island into Storm Bay, a couple of the off-watch crew were called up to assist in wrestling the Yankee 2 to the deck.

The Sydney-based Clipper Events yacht and its international crew is currently 84th overall (line honours), 78th in the IRC class and 20th in IRC division 2 of the Australian offshore classic.

The yacht is currently making 7.4 knots with winds of up to 40 knots forecast for 11pm AEDT. The estimated time of arrival into Constitution Dock, Hobart is 4am local time Tuesday (5pm Monday UTC).

Piers Dudin, a two-time skipper in the Clipper Race, is competing in his second Sydney Hobart following the inaugural entry of the entire Clipper Round the World fleet last year, plus two Clipper Events yachts.

He said: "We're well stuck into the last few hours of the race. We're beating into a 25 knot Westerly through the aptly named 'Storm Bay'.

"The past few hours have been quite a battle what with 180 degrees change in wind direction and everything from 10 knots to 40 knots within the space of an hour. This race doesn't let you finish easily! The cloud formations have been nothing short of epic, as you might expect now that we're below 40 degrees south and heading into the fronts we have been monitoring and expecting for the past few days.

"We're well set up with the Yankee 3, Staysail and two reefs. As ever Clipper Ventures 10 is carrying her crew admirably. We in turn make sure she has the right sail plan for that moment. All the crew are now fully kitted out and bearing the brunt of the rather wet foredeck.

"Hopefully the final 10 miles up the River Derwent should be straightforward given our current wind angle.

"It's midnight but the moon is still providing good visibility and we can see the loom of the lights of Hobart, although we can't quite smell the famous scallop pies yet!

"We are crossing tacks with several other boats Wild Side, Love and War and Alien (such is the company we've been accustomed to keeping!)

"The crew are in good spirits but looking forward to a cold beer and a shower. We are all looking forward to the warm welcome Hobart is renowned for.

"It has been fantastic experience for the crew to pit themselves against some of the best ocean racers, and great practice for those competing in the Clipper 2015-16 Race."

The Clipper Ventures Australia base is open for training and events, and in the Clipper 2015-16 Race the round the world fleet will once again compete in the RSHYR during Leg 4 as part of the 40,000 mile circumnavigation.

Click here to sign up online or contact the Clipper Race UK base: +44 (0) 2392 526000 / Clipper Race Australia base: +61 (0) 29363 2020.

To watch a review of last year's Clipper 70 fleet in the Sydney Hobart, click here.

We will be posting blogs and pictures from Clipper Ventures 10 on our site daily here and on our Twitter and Facebook feeds.

To track the boat, you can use the official RSHYR race viewer.

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