Race 1 Day 6: A difficult and emotional 24 hours across the fleet

06 September 2015

It’s been a difficult and emotional 24 hours across the fleet. The team of IchorCoal is now safely ashore in Porto, northern Portugal, where they were met by a Clipper Race team led by Sir Robin and Race Director Justin Taylor.

Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of condolence and support for Andy’s family, friends, crew, the fleet and Clipper Race team. It is very much appreciated. There will be a fleet-wide minute’s silence at 1200 UTC today

Today’s Skipper reports reflect on the reaction of all teams to this tragedy. For example, Olivier Cardin skipper of LMAX Exchange says: “For everybody, sadness was the first feeling as we lost a member of our family. We cried, we talked. The ensign was hoisted at half-mast. Everybody wrote some words for Andy and put them in a bottle, which was thrown at sea. Andy was a good fellow. I discovered him during the preparation week. Always smiling, always nice with everyone, he was for me the figure of this Clipper Race.”

The fleet has also been motivated to honour Andrew’s love of sailing by continuing in his spirit as they continue the race towards Rio.

LMAX Exchange has re-taken the lead from GREAT Britain, which is further offshore and positioned on the edge of the winds it was hoping for.

There has been quite a few changes in the race standings with the lighter conditions presenting some challenging helming/trimming situations for the teams. Mission Performance has moved up to fifth position, with Garmin dropping into seventh and Qingdao into eighth.

ClipperTelemed+ now stands in fourth. Skipper Diane Reid explained the dilemmas she and the team had been facing over routeing decisions.

“There are two systems that could pay dividends or crush speeds. One weather system goes west around Madeira with a tiny little low that could offer good pressure on its west side driving us down to the Doldrums corridor; and the other option is to run close to the Straits of Gibraltar and down the west coast of Africa and the east side of the Canary Islands.

“The Canary Islands is the traditional route with prevailing currents and winds. However the forecasting models right now are showing potential for a large area of light winds depending on when you get there.”

For the latest positions, see the Race Viewer here.

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