It’s been an eventful 24 hours for the 12 strong matched fleet of ocean racers competing in the Clipper 2013-14 Race. With reported wind speeds in excess of 60 knots as the fleet head north to Brisbane via the notorious Bass Strait, the optional extra points up for grabs from the Scoring Gate proved too tempting for some to pass up.
It was Derry~Londonderry~Doire who claimed the maximum three points up for grabs after crossing the Scoring Gate in first place, further building on its Race 6 victory. Old Pulteney put in a triumphant performance claiming second place and two valuable points.
However, it was the fight for the final point which saw OneDLL storm to victory, just three seconds ahead of Switzerland which narrowly missed out on the point. Skipper of OneDLL, Olly Cotterell describes the nail biting duel that unfolded.
“Switzerland and I had an epic battle. Fortunately our poled out tactic paid off allowing us to sail deep enough that we would not have to gybe. Switzerland did its best even breaking out their heavy weight kite. The sight was awesome and I have to say I was very nervous we would lose the Scoring Gate to them.”
As the fleet head further north to Brisbane, Australia leaving behind the Southern Ocean for the final time, it’s not just the temperature that’s hotting up - with less than 50 miles separating the top nine teams the competition is still anyone’s for the taking. Skipper of Jamaica Get All Right, Pete Stirling who also skippered Jamaica Lightning Bolt in the Clipper 2009-10 Race shares his wealth of experience.
“The next few days are going to be very tactical with the wind going very light before building again from the north. The fleet is still very close together and positions are going to change from one position update to the next as each team puts into place their various different strategies. This race is far from over and could still be won by any of the teams.”