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Race 7 Day 4: Tactics kick in as Ocean Sprint gets underway

06 JAN 2014

Race 7 Day 4: Tactics kick in as Ocean Sprint gets underway

Race 7 Day 4: Tactics kick in as Ocean Sprint gets underway

The 180 mile Ocean Sprint in Race 7 has got underway and with two valuable points up for grabs, the fleet will do it all can to cross the gate in the fastest time possible as the last few hundred miles to Brisbane, Australia gets underway.

Skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire Sean McCarter is currently ‘neck and neck with Switzerland and OneDLL’ in what he describes as ‘perfect downwind conditions’. Skipper of OneDLL, Olly Cotterell who in this 1075 mile race is currently just four miles behind first place Derry~Londonderry~Doire, said:

“Sometimes you have to pinch yourself to realise how awesome this is. Now put it into context and take into account that after nearly 900 miles all of us in this group are currently within 1 mile of each other. That makes for some amazing racing!”

With less than 250 miles to go until race finish Switzerland and Jamaica Get All Right have activated its Stealth Mode. Both teams’ positions will be hidden from the rest of the fleet and the Race Viewer for a period of 24 hours as they battle to make gains on the rest of the fleet. With an exciting fast paced finish on the horizon skipper of Switzerland, Vicky Ellis will be doing all she can to secure that all important podium position that she so narrowly missed out on in Race 6.

“After having seen Old Pulteney and OneDLL last at the Scoring Gate, their navigation lights cropped up on the horizon last night - is there no peace for the wicked?  Since then it’s been a fast paced pursuit race along the coastline, for any passing ship we must be quite a spectacle with only a mile or two between the three colourful boats.”

With GREAT Britain embracing the ‘changeable’ conditions of Race 7 skipper Simon Talbot and his team have reported completing more sail changes then they did in the Southern Ocean. While in contrast Invest Africa is enjoying the favourable tail winds that is hoped will take the team all the way to Brisbane.

After the disappointing news came yesterday that PSP Logistics had retired from Race 7 as a safety precaution following a failure of the deck around the base of the starboard running backstay, skipper Chris Hollis explained the circumstances that led to his very difficult decision.

“We were in the middle of a sail change, sailing with the staysail and reefed mail. The boat bounced over two waves and on the second wave the shock load caused the tension on the pad eye that holds the working running backstay split some fibreglass under the deck. This means that the runner could no longer be used to stabilise the mast on the starboard side. We have rigged a jury rig that is allowing us to sail, but we are sailing underpowered. The absolute last thing we need is to break the big pointy thing (mast) that points to the sky. This would surely render us out for some time.”

To read all the skipper reports click here

To track the fleets progress on the official Race Viewer click here