31 October 2017

With two previous races now under their belts, each of the twelve Clipper Race Skippers are preparing lead their respective teams in the Dell Latitude Rugged Race 3 from Cape Town, South Africa, to Fremantle, Australia, which starts at 14:00 (local time) today.

Greenings, which, along with Qingdao, has played its Joker Card for this race, has claimed back to back first places, Interim Skipper Andy Woodruff is not letting the pressure get to him, saying: “I have no expectations, just going to go out there and deal with whatever gets thrown at us, really.

“I would say we will take this one easy, a little cruise, give the other a chance! But it is my team that will push hard and will want three from three races. I will be there to facilitate whatever they want to do.”

For Matt Mitchell, who has stepped into the role as Skipper of PSP Logistics, and Wendy Tuck Skipper of Sanya Serenity Coast, this will be the second time they have led a team across the Southern Ocean. Matt comments: “Leg 3, across the Southern Ocean, is always quite a challenging one. You can get quite a lot of challenging conditions out there.”

And Wendy is very much looking forward to the upcoming challenge, describing the race as: “Big waves, fast boat speeds and lots of fun!”

After reviewing the weather forecast, it seems those watching at home will be quickly resuming their Race Viewer addictions. Skipper of Visit Seattle, Nikki Henderson, explains: “There is going to be lots of different wind changing around in different directions and teams will need to decide what direction to go in. Who knows where we will finish but I’m sure the crew will feel like they’ve won, no matter what.

“I can’t wait to go!”

Qingdao is also playing its Joker Card during the Dell Latitude Rugged Race and Skipper Chris Kobusch says: “Leg 3 was always the leg I was looking forward to the most. Big swells, surfing, downwind sailing, I think it’s the most fun and we have found in the last few races that the team is much better going downwind than upwind.

“So, we thought it was a good leg for us to play the Joker Card.”

After a fantastic stopover is his hometown, Skipper of Dare To Lead Dale Smyth is ready to start racing again. He hopes his local knowledge will help him through the tricky tactical start, saying: “I feel good, slightly apprehensive because it would be pretty strange if you weren’t.

“It will be good to get going again and keep moving! It looks to be a tricky start, it will be quite light and variable crossing The Agulhas Bank, nothing like the big Southern Ocean Westerlies that we are due to expect! Probably quite a tactical, soft start to Race 3. I can’t tell you my tactics, though!”

The Southern Ocean is going to be new territory for Nasdaq Skipper Rob Graham. He explains: “I’ve sailed as far as Cape Town before but this will be a new set of waves to look at! Nasdaq will be looking to improve from twelfth, then to eighth and top half this time.”

All the Skippers and their teams will enjoy a picture-perfect race start, with Clipper Race Meteorologist Simon Rowell reporting: “It looks like a lovely start to the day.

“The satellite images show the low developing at the coast and moving fairly fast, so the northwest winds should carry on today taking the fleet out in open ocean.

“From tomorrow it gets tricky again, with the low southeast now and a gap between two highs, with the next big front still a couple of days away. This gap should get filled by building east-northeast / northeast winds as the next low approaches.”

The Clipper Race Team will be bringing you the Slipping Lines ceremony, weather permitting, from 12:00 local time (10:00 UTC) on the Clipper Race: LIVE Facebook page and you can watch all of the action unfold throughout the race via the Clipper Race Viewer.

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