​Race 2 Day 16: Wind shifts keep remaining teams focused on finish

23 October 2015

The four teams still racing are managing the wind shifts on the final push into Cape Town.

Southerly boat Qingdao, which struggled with changeable winds yesterday, is now making 8.7 knots, with 662 nautical miles to go to the finish line as of 0700 UTC.

Skipper Igor Gotlibovych said: “We are moving again after a night of fickle winds. We were back to peeling from spinnaker to windseeker and from windseeker to Yankee, and trimming as the wind changed every minute.

“In the meantime round the world crew member Sophie Dummer has once again turned the sail locker into a loft, and the heavyweight spinnaker repair is progressing well - hopefully this will save us a lot of time in Cape Town.

“Well done to all who have finished Race 2, the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms, and enjoy your stay!”

But it was a different story for Visit Seattle which had very strong winds last night, and is due to cross the finish line this morning between 1100 and 1300 local time/0900-1100 UTC.

Huw Fernie, Skipper of Visit Seattle, said:A little wind-shift here and there is expected, but as of sunset it all went into the "it's a bit fruity out there" stage - normal folk would call it a hurricane. Given our time at sea no one is feeling that normal anymore, so we can stick with just a tad breezy for now.

“With our bright orange storm sails up, we carried on as best we could, with impressive waves all around the boat, over the boat and sometimes inside the boat. It's all over now, in fact since sunrise the wind has really dropped off and now it's time for bigger sails, one final - final push should see us there,” Huw added.

The most northerly team LMAX Exchange is currently heeling over and smashing through waves, and expecting more of a wind shift so it can ease its sheets and bear downwind towards the finish.

Estimating the overall race standings, Race Director Justin Taylor updates: "Based on average speed so far LMAX Exchange is currently in eighth place and Qingdao is tenth. Although Qingdao took a dive to the south in order to avoid the high pressure system, it has still encountered light and fickle winds last night. LMAX Exchange decided to bite the bullet and go for the more direct route to Cape Town and has inevitably hit the light winds of that high."

Unicef is expected to cross the line between 2100 and 0000 tonight local time.

Meanwhile, PSP Logistics finished at 1716UTC (1916 local) yesterday after a busy day of arrivals into the V & A Waterfront. To read more from the finishers, click here.

Follow the final push on the Race Viewer here.

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