​Race 7 Day 26: Battle for positions intensifies as Race Finish draws close

14 February 2016

The Race Finish line has been set and teams are into the final hours of the Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race with positions still to be decided as the fleet counts down the miles and the clock.

At 2100 UTC on 13 February, Race Director Justin Taylor contacted the Race Skippers to inform them that the finish line had been set and a time limit of 2100 UTC, 14 February, had been imposed. The teams that have not crossed the finish line by this time will have their distance measured to the finish line via the remaining waypoints. By this method the Race Director will calculate the final finishing positions for the fleet.

As of 0700 UTC, Derry~Londonderry~Doire is 93 nautical miles from the finish line but having encountered light winds is sailing at 2 knots. However having stretched to a 75nM lead over Garmin, which slipped into second place ahead of GREAT Britain going round the last waypoint, Skipper Daniel Smith says his crew remain focused and determined.

“With the announcement of the shortened course, concentration on board Derry~Londonderry~Doire is at an all-time high. With a dying wind we are unlikely to make it to the finish line but the objective is very much to get as close as we possibly can before the time expires to achieve first place.

“Looking back at positions behind us, we are very aware that GREAT Britain and Garmin are fighting hard and will be pushing each other on and LMAX Exchange and Qingdao are not far behind.”

Garmin and GREAT Britain, once again, find themselves battling each other to the finish line. Skipper Ash Skett and his Garmin crew are currently 12 nautical miles ahead of GREAT Britain which got caught in “a much deeper and longer period of south-east air flow when tacking for the mark” according to Skipper Peter Thornton.

In fourth place, LMAX Exchange is still in with a chance of a podium place, as it is due 3 hours 4 minutes redress for suspending racing to investigate a drifting and dis-masted yacht north of the Philippines. Qingdao remains in fifth place, and Da Nang – Viet Nam in sixth, but ClipperTelemed+ hasn’t given up on finishing in the top half of the fleet.

“We are in a good position as we seem pretty safe in seventh, as well as having a shot at sixth place. There are still twelve hours left of the race and anything can happen in that time. However, the wind is due to shift and build which will see some last minute tactics play out amongst the fleet,” reports ClipperTelemed+ Skipper Matt Mitchell.

IchorCoal, PSP Logistics and Unicef continue racing northwards towards the next waypoint with approximately 100nM between each of them.

Meanwhile, Mission Performance and Visit Seattle, both of which had yet to round the bottom marks of the course, have accepted eleventh and twelfth place respectively. They will now make their way to Da Nang under motor to arrive with the rest of the fleet.

Visit Seattle Skipper Huw Fernie says: “Taking last spot in the race was never the intention when we set out from Airlie Beach but given our slow start and then a poor tactical choice at Lihou Reef we've been trailing for a long time.

“So it's been an odd race, a few ups, a lot of downs and then a long slow trip to the finish line. Although initially annoying it could be a blessing as this is the first time we've had to really go through the boat at sea and so it has enabled us to explore a different side to ocean sailing.”

The race will be called by the Race Director at 2100 UTC tonight (Sunday 14 February). Once this happens, all teams will be free to make best passage to Da Nang, where they are expected to arrive on 17-18 February.

In these vital, final hours of the Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race, keep watching the Race Viewer to see where each of the teams finish. As Mission Performance and Visit Seattle have stopped racing, they appear at the top of the Race Standings in the table, but as mentioned earlier they have accepted eleventh and twelfth place respectively, so please keep this in mind when looking at the table and refer to the map for more accurate positions of the fleet.

Don’t forget that the second episode of the Race of Their Lives 2 documentary which follows the 2015-16 crew’s circumnavigation has its UK premiere today (Sunday 14 February) at 1200 GMT (1300 CET) on Bloomberg TV (UK channels Sky channel 502; Virgin Media channel 609 and Freesat channel 208). It will also be broadcast across Europe, the Middle-East and Africa on Bloomberg TV.

To see what lies in store for the Clipper 2015-16 Race Crew and supporters during the Da Nang stopover, click here.

If you can see yourself competing in a future Clipper Race then contact the Crew Recruitment team to find out more.

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