Race Update: Change to Seattle Arrival Window

05 April 2018

The light conditions and wind holes that hit the Clipper Race fleet in the days after leaving Qingdao has resulted in the arrival window for Seattle being altered.

The fleet was originally expected to finish Race 9: The Race to the Emerald City and arrive into Bell Harbor Marina between Saturday 14 and Thursday 19 of April, but conditions in the early part of the race means the boats are now expected between Thursday 19 and Saturday 21 April.

Clipper Race Director Mark Light explains the update to the arrival window is mainly due to the light conditions and wind holes found between the fleet leaving Qingdao and progressing towards the Southern tip of Japan, saying: “Once the fleet did find wind, a situation existed where the low pressures systems were found to be a fair way south of normal and expected areas and they moved to the east and north, underneath and over the fleet. The knock-on effect was that the eleven Clipper Race teams found themselves at the northern part of these low pressure systems and therefore experienced headwinds, instead of favourable westerly and south westerly winds, which again hampered progress significantly.

“I am pleased to say that as the fleet have cleared Japan and moved into the North Pacific Ocean proper, normal progress has returned and the Clipper Race teams are now flying along on the correct side of the low pressure systems and downwind at terrific speeds. This forecast looks set to continue for the foreseeable future and will result in some fantastic daily runs and the mighty North Pacific sleigh ride that our intrepid Race Crews signed up for.

"Long may that continue.”

On the importance of updating crew, supporters and followers of the race, Mark added: “Clearly the Clipper Race fleet are still some 3,500nm out from Seattle and it is unusual to try to predict exact arrival days so early due to the distance still to be covered but it was important also to give an update to help the planning of anybody wishing to visit the Seattle stopover and particularly our Race Crew Supporters out there.

“The Race start from Seattle will remain set at Sunday 29th April as originally planned and there are currently no plans to change this.”

To follow the progress of the Clipper Race fleet to Seattle, keep an eye on the Race Viewer. Any further updates to the ETAs will also be added to the Clipper Race website.

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