Sir Robin Knox-Johnston moves into third position

15 November 2014

Clipper Race Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston moved up to third in the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe race Rhum class last night, and is now just one mile ahead of close rival Jean-Paul Froc on Groupe Berto in fourth.

Sir Robin is doing 11.6 knots in around 16 knots of East North Easterly wind on his Open 60, Grey Power. He is 64 miles behind second-placed Wilfrid Clerton on Cap Au Cap Location and has 1642 miles to go until the finish line at Point a Pitre, Guadeloupe.

Andrea Mura on Vento di Sardegna is eight miles behind Sir Robin in fifth place.

Here is Sir Robin's blog, sent Saturday morning.

I gybed last night as although the other gybe was a favourable one as far as course and speed are concerned, it was leading us into lighter airs and some disturbance, so I decided to get south of it all.

We are getting more squalls now, usually with rain. The wind rises and veers, usually about two points of the compass (22 1/2 degrees), but we did have one very heavy rain squall where it shifted 5 points and for a while we were steering 260 degrees on the port tack, so, since I cannot set wind control of the compass I have to stay ready to turn downwind or we would be knocked on our side.

So I camped out in the cockpit, throwing my bed through the hatch every time it rained. These squalls will increase as we approach the Windies, and present a problem as far as sail setting is concerned, in the squalls we have too much sail, but between them, when the wind subsides, we have too little. This is the weak point on this boat as with everything so big, a sail change takes time, sometimes longer than the gap between the squalls and calms, so one tends to be cautious and inevitably lose speed.

We are now in the Tropics after all but it’s a pity man cannot work out how to get this rain land 2000 miles east of here.

Busy night for shipping as well, as I saw three ships so we must be on a shipping lane. There may have been others when I was dozing but none came within the safety zone on my plotter which sets off an alarm, either from radar or Automatic Identification System (AIS).

A treat last night for dinner. I have a few boil in the bag ready cooked meals so decided to have a Chicken Tikka Masala.Excellent. Almost as good as my recipe!

I forgot my seabird book which is annoying as there were two small black birds, the size of petrels, with a flash of white beneath the wing on the body, dancing around the boat. They were probably chasing flying fish which have been jumping out of the water at our approach and then gliding along the top of the surface. They don’t actively fly, but they build up speed in the water, launch themselves into the air, and then their extended pectoral fins act as wings.It’s when they climb too high they land on deck and then usually die.


You can track Sir Robin and Grey Power here on the official race tracker.

It updates every hour.

The Clipper Race will continue to post his blogs here as well.

For the latest updates, see the @ClipperRace twitter feed.

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