It's Day 9 of Race 3: TIMEZERO South Atlantic Showdown and the Scoring Gate results are in.

The closely fought battle for the Scoring Gate between Perseverance and Dare To Lead was settled at 17:30 UTC yesterday with Ineke, Joss and the Perseverance crew taking the three points on offer for first. Three and a half hours later, Dare To Lead claimed second and while the last point available for third through the gate looked like it would come down to the wire between Yacht Club Punta del Este and Zhuhai, a slightly more southerly course took Zhuhai out of the running and the Uruguayan boat slipped through the gate at 01:43 UTC this morning, claiming the last bonus point on offer.

Image: Plotting tactics in the Nav Station of Dare To Lead- taken by OBR Meredith

These results have had an important influence on the provisional overall race leaderboard so far in the Clipper 2023-24 Race. When the results of this Scoring Gate are tallied, Perseverance will be the new overall race leaders by one point, but with a closely matched front-running pack, and still over 2,000nm of racing left to go, there’s a lot to play for for the podium on this race.

With the Scoring Gate now out of play, the northerly positioned boats have lowered their bows to the south and appear set to converge with the four teams who opted to go on a more southerly course a few days ago. Looking at the tracker at 11:00 UTC today, it's shaping up to be an exciting phase of this race and the next twenty-four hours could be critical to who remains at the front of the fleet.

Image: The South Atlantic is serving up some breezy conditions- taken by OBR Tiger on board Qingdao

What does look set to remain a constant, for a day at least, is the counter-clockwise rotating South Atlantic High, also known as the St Helena High. This will continue to serve up its reliable trade winds and the fleet is reporting a consistent twenty to thirty knots of north easterly breeze off their port beam, giving the teams good speed towards Cape Town. Forecast models still show that low pressure threatening to come into effect later this week, but for now the fleet will all be happy to be eating into their distance to go by over two hundred miles every twenty four hours.

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