Race 4 Day 17: Stealth, the name of the game?

04 December 2019

Front runner Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, in its quest to win The Marlow Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride has today gone into Stealth Mode*. This follows the trend set by its rival Qingdao, who, this morning, resurfaced from this tactical maneuver. Whether this was successful will be revealed tomorrow for all the avid Race Viewer followers.

For both teams, the competition is visual as well as tactical, as they are in sight of each other. Skipper Josh Stickland of Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam commented “The not so stealthy, Qingdao popped up behind us at sun rise! So the game of chess begins. Well, we best get our game faces and the kettle on then.”

Similarly, Qingdao First Mate, Rhiannon Massey, commented, “We’re currently sailing down wind and are now very clearly able to see Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam up ahead. This has definitely helped boost morale and got people going! Also, the jobs that need doing suddenly get done quicker, when you can see your target on the horizon.”

The estimated time of arrivals into Fremantle are currently forecasting both teams will arrive on Saturday 7th December between 1800 - 0000, so fans won’t have to wait too long to see the exciting conclusion of this race.

Meanwhile, there’s everything to play for when it comes to the current mid table teams. WTC Logistics Skipper, Mark Burkes, is equally as focussed on improving his results and has the full support of his team and says: “The crew on WTC Logistics want to win...now we have 1,000 miles to the finish. We are very close to GoToBermuda and Zhuhai. Imagine your Korea is over 100 miles ahead, but fluky airs lie ahead, meaning that third place is achievable for us all.” Approximately 158nm separates fourth and sixth place.

IMAGE: On Board Zhuhai

Whilst the leading teams are enjoying some much needed sun, following their stint in the Roaring Forties; Punta del Este, Unicef and Visit Sanya, China are all beginning to experience the colder conditions and are bracing themselves for what lies ahead. Punta del Este Skipper, Jeronimo Gonzales, observes, “The temperature is dropping the more south we go, gloves and hats are a must, but we know this is temporary and it will warm up as soon as we start moving north into Australia”. Unicef Skipper, Ian Wiggin, states: “The wind has finally caught up with us! Gone, (at least for now) are those balmy Indian Ocean days of sunscreen, t-shirts and stars, and in their place are low clouds, white horses and, most importantly, faster boat speeds.”

All teams are focussed and hoping for success in their respective Clipper Race battle. Make sure you keep up with their progress on the Race Viewer to see how this exciting story continues to unfold.

*For an explanation of Stealth Mode, Click here and go to point 9

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