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Race 8 Day 13: Will offshore tactics pay off as the fleet spreads out in Race 8?

25 JAN 2014

Race 8 Day 13: Will offshore tactics pay off as the fleet spreads out in Race 8?

Race 8 Day 13: Will offshore tactics pay off as the fleet spreads out in Race 8?

With serious points up for grabs in Race 8 the fleet is eager to see if GREAT Britain and Switzerland’s decision to head offshore in search of the trade winds will pay off, as the other teams watch with bated breath as the race to Singapore continues.

It seems the decision to head offshore is so far proving fruitful for Switzerland which is currently in seventh place enjoying 45 knots of wind. Skipper Vicky Ellis remains upbeat and optimistic as she and her team enjoy the favourable conditions:

“Life in the trade winds is good; it's life on the high side, life on the wild side, steady now, that's making it sound fast!

“We have been trucking north in search of the trade winds and have found them, as marked by the sky's fluffy cotton wool ball clouds.  Progress is not without its squally hindrances though and several big clouds have swamped us today, the current one is exerting 45 knots of breeze on the deck crew again as I type!”

GREAT Britain which is currently in sixth place but the most northerly yacht in the fleet has crossed the Equator into the Northern Hemisphere. However, a royal visit from King Neptune had to be postponed until tomorrow due to an unfortunately timed squall which rained off the proceedings.

The relentless battle between Old Pulteney, Derry~Londonderry~Doire and OneDLL continues to rumble on with Old Pulteney managing to hold onto the lead for another 24 hours. Amidst all the action the Scottish team also celebrated Burns Night with a traditional supper of haggis and a toast of Old Pulteney Whisky, to commemorate the life of the bard (poet) Robert Burns, who was born on January 25, 1759. Skipper Patrick Van Der Zijden describes the ever changing conditions of the last 24 hours.

“After 6 hours drifting, mainly backwards, we finally got the ‘Navigator’ (the nickname of our ship) moving forward in the right direction. Derry~Londonderry ~Doire managed to get its yacht into gear a little earlier and took the lead over us and OneDLL. Now we are back in the groove and the wind is slowly building to the expected 25 knots. Sail changes are up next.”

After watching Switzerland and GREAT Britain choose a more offshore route in search of the trade winds, skipper of Invest Africa Rich Gould has left that all important decision of which route to take in the hands of his crew.  Rich explains:

“So coming back to the decision that had to be made at our lunch time team meeting today I attempted to give the team a completely balanced view on the two options we had (offshore or inshore), then left them to discuss and come to a conclusion as a team. So after an hour or so a conclusion had been reached - keep an eye on the Race Viewer to see if you can work out what the team have chosen.”

To keep an eye on the fleets progress and to view the Official Race Viewer click here

To read all the skipper reports click here