Race 3 Day 15: Winds ease to give teams a temporary breather

15 November 2015

Steady surfs and large swells eased over the past 24 hours and light, fluffy winds overnight and this morning are now providing a temporary time out from the strenuous Southern Ocean onslaught of the past seven days.

ClipperTelemed+ Skipper Matt Mitchell, in ninth position, reports: “We've been making steady progress all day and life is a little more comfortable now than it was yesterday morning. The wind had continued to build and we were sailing with deep reefed main and Yankee 3 in 50 to 60 knots of wind with a very large swell, at times tipping the 8 to 10 metre mark.

“The crew handled the conditions admirably and kept the good ship ClipperTelemed+ pointing in the right direction while surfing at speeds in excess of 20 knots pretty much every wave. It really was an impressive sight, seeing this moving mountain range complete with white caps illuminated by the brilliant sunshine.

“As the day wore on conditions have eased and we are expecting a period of settled weather before the onset of the next front due later this evening.”

Huw Fernie, Skipper of Visit Seattle, in eleventh position, backs this up as he reports this morning: “The strong winds of the last few days are over. They departed us last night and we are now left with a long rolling sea and the memories but little else to show for what we have been through over the last week.

“The light patch we were stuck in last night had us pointing in all directions and will undoubtedly have made for slow progress on the Race Viewer; it wasn't forecast to be so light for so long, but there is nothing to be done. If there is an upside it's that we all slept like babies, so for the first time in a long time the boat is full of people instead of zombies. It's amazing what a night’s rest and a little sunshine can do.”

The overall fleet positions still remain largely unchanged from yesterday. LMAX Exchange still leads, just over 100 nautical miles ahead of Derry~Londonderry~Doire in second and Qingdao, third. Fourth place GREAT Britain and fifth place Garmin are battling out the closest rivalry of the fleet, as just five miles currently separates them.

PSP Logistics Skipper Max Stunell, tenth, is already finding the light wind conditions frustrating, though he notes: “The only consolation is that it will affect most of the fleet. You can guarantee that it will fill in at some stage, and looking at the forecast the wind will certainly be doing that soon! Think we could be in for a very wet and windy time.”

This calm, light patch is definitely temporary. The next expected weather front is getting stronger, and depending where and when it passes over teams, they may have gusts into the 70 knot region in the next 24 to 48 hours, with a big back round to the south west after it goes over.

Keep up to date with what the weather front brings on the Race Viewer as Race 3, The Wardan Whip continues…


Despite their Southern Ocean isolation, Skippers and crew are aware of the tragic news from France. LMAX Exchange Skipper Olivier Cardin, from Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, Normandy, said: “The news coming from Paris was so sad. I hope that by pulling all together we will be stronger against this.”

GREAT Britain Skipper Peter Thornton backed up his colleague’s thoughts as he said: “Our thoughts are with anyone who has friends and family that have been affected by the terrorist attacks in Paris. As the Clipper Race family, with its reach of supporters and sponsors being global, there are no borders amongst us.”

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