Race 7 Day 11: Trade Winds allow for High Speed Racing

30 January 2016

The Clipper Race fleet is flying along in the Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race, with many boats averaging more than 120 nautical miles in the last 12 hours. LMAX Exchange and Garmin, now in third and fourth place respectively*, covered the greatest distance of 148nM as the teams make the most of the north-easterly Trade Winds.

Garmin Skipper Ashley Skett says: “It was yet another night of high speed sailing and the well-established Trade Winds are doing their thing, which makes for a comfortable angle today as we skim along the surface of the deep blue Pacific Ocean.

“We were in close proximity to ClipperTelemed+ through the night and this morning, but we have now altered course slightly on to a more direct route in search of some continued high speed sailing.

“There has been some awesome surfing over the last few days but occasionally a wave will come out of nowhere and completely soak everyone on deck. When I was on the helm just now, one wave hit me with such force and for such a long period that I had to hold onto the helm to stop myself being blown backwards by it. I would compare it to being hit full power with a fire hose,” Ash added.

In twelfth place after getting stuck in the Solomon Sea Doldrums, Mission Performance has picked up speed and was last recorded as traveling at 10.2 knots. Despite being over 600nM behind leader Derry~Londonderry~Doire, Skipper Greg Miller says the team is hopeful they can catch up with the pack ahead: “We are now heading north-west with increasing winds that will plug us into the north-east Trade Winds in a few days. Hopefully we haven’t fallen too far behind to catch the fleet up, we will be trying regardless!

“The winds have been consistent and we have been flying along with our lightweight kite up all night and most of the afternoon. We took it down as the wind seemed to come forward of the beam and increased a little too much to hold the kite. So we have our large white sails up and are still doing similar speeds to when we had the kite up,” Greg continued.

“Our position is around 150 nautical miles west of the track of the rest of the fleet, which I am hoping will give us a slight advantage over them in the winds we will get and the ferocity of the systems that will hit them first. Fast sailing in the right direction at last!”

The second episode of Race of Their Lives 2, the documentary that follows the Clipper 2015-16 Race crew’s adventure round the world, is being aired from next week. To find out when it is available in your country and on what channel, click here.

In the meantime, you can follow the fleet’s progress on the Race Viewer.

A fun-filled and exciting series of events awaits the Clipper Race crew in Da Nang. Click here to see the stopover schedule.

*Positions correct at 0900 UTC.

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