Race 1 Day 9: Leaderboard changes as Canary Islands tactics test teams

09 September 2015

The leaderboard has seen some considerable changes overnight, as the teams make their tactical decisions on whether to pass between the Canary Islands and take more of an inshore route, or leave them to port.

Get it wrong and you are caught in the wind shadow of the huge volcanic mountains that extend for more than 100 miles out to sea, creating a major headache as the Skippers seek out the more steady Trade Winds.

LMAX Exchange is now back at the top of the leaderboard after Derry~Londonderry~Doire had its first spell at the top yesterday afternoon since the start of the race, taking over from GREAT Britain.

Both GREAT Britain and Derry~Londonderry~Doire have taken the offshore route out west,leaving the islands to port, but are struggling to make steady good speed in the light weather section between the strong airflows.

Both Garmin and Qingdao, who have been in a gybing duel, are approaching the Canary Islands and are in a good position says Clipper Race meteorologist Simon Rowell.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire Skipper Daniel Smith explains:The day was spent gybing down a narrow band of wind trying to keep the boat moving and achieve the best speeds downwind. By 1800UTC we got the result we were looking for. For the first time since leaving the Thames we were back in first place.

“This was a great achievement from the crew despite them knowing it probably wouldn't last for long. LMAX Exchange has put itself further east, and was approaching a band of stronger steadier winds. Our plan of squeezing through west of Madeira hadn't worked out as well as we'd hoped due to the wind strength decreasing.

“We are continuing to fight our way south into what should be an ever-increasing wind, keeping an eye on the positions of more easterly yachts and hoping that they don't all manage to slot in in front of us.”

‘Boat Gym’ also begins today on board the Northern Irish entry, with sit-ups, squats and press-ups for all those who want to keep fit.

Da Nang Viet Nam, skippered by Wendy Tuck, is in fifth position now. Wendy says: “The trimmers and drivers are working very hard, everyone on board calling to high and ease, with concentration at its highest.

“I am not looking forward to seeing this morning’s position report, we can see a green navigation light behind us, but nothing on the Automatic Identification System (AIS) yet. Is this Mission Performance, or possibly ClipperTelemed+?”

The Scoring Gate section of the course is also approaching:- a line between a latitude and longitude, which offers the first three teams which cross extra race points (Three for first, two for second and one for third).

To find out about Stealth Mode, Ocean Sprint and the Scoring Gate, click here.

*All positions correct as of 0900 UTC. See the Race Viewer for the latest updates.

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