The countdown is on for the teams still racing and battling upwind in icy conditions to make it to Race Finish in Qingdao having come through the violent storm yesterday.

LMAX Exchange looks set to take third place in The Sailing City • Qingdao Cup, with 28 nautical miles to go with Derry~Londonderry~Derry and Garmin having taken first and second place respectively today.

The northerly winds have still been strong following the storm which saw gusting winds of 70 to 80 knots, but are now starting to moderate and will continue to do so with a band of high pressure forecasted to be centred over the southern tip of South Korea on Saturday morning. This could still throw a spanner in the works for the teams with furthest to go to the finish.

Qingdao, racing to its home port, is in seventh with 132 nautical miles to go. Skipper Bob Beggs added: “The big blow has now departed and we are sailing under full main again. The temperature on deck is in single figures and minus overnight, the wind chill is the killer as we are beating to windward. Keeping skin exposed to the wind for the minimum time is essential as is rotating crew to go below for rewarming.”

Darren Ladd, Skipper of IchorCoal, in ninth, described the unpleasant conditions in the final stages of Race 8: “The good ship IchorCoal is struggling on, against the freezing cold headwinds and the relentless spray and slamming. It isn't always easy this sailing lark and now is very definitely one of those not very easy times.

“The sun is making an appearance at last and the on-going watch are putting a brave face on it.”

Da Nang - Viet Nam Skipper Wendo Tuck said her team was facing the pressure to maintain its eighth position with 175 nM to go. “We are watching our tails with Visit Seattle and IchorCoal chasing behind us, we are all pretty keen to maintain this position, so it’s still trim, trim, trim and watching the boat speed at all times.”

To follow all the action, see the Race Viewer here.

Due to the rough conditions, the ETAs into Qingdao have been pushed back slightly. See here for the latest ETAs.

To find out more about the Chinese city of Qingdao, the stopover itself and some of the events planned, click here.

All positions correct as of 1000 UTC.

For the latest crew diaries, click here.

Join The Race
Elliot Brown Watches - Official Time Keeper Until Race Start : The Atlantic Homecoming Leg Map + Race Standings