This is the last blog from WTC Logistics for Leg 3 of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race. Leg 3 has proven to be less 'feisty' than we might have expected, which is largely the luck of the draw. That said, experiencing winds of say 55 kts and the accompanying sea state is still much more than your average yachtsman will experience in a lifetime. Continuing to hold canvas and race in those conditions makes for exhilarating sailing.
We've had a strong crew this race with some competent helms, bow and pit crew. The new guys got up to speed quickly and this enabled us to push harder, especially after the first ten days. Not always as hard as some would have liked but on balance, I think hard enough. Our race saw us in the mid pack and it was frustrating to see the lead two get ahead enough to jump into better wind and streak off, day after day, extending their lead at one point to about 500 miles. But it's all about the angle y'know! Imagine your Korea made a valiant effort to achieve third place. A great result.
The boat was sailed efficiently and there was rarely any reluctance to change a sail or go the extra mile for the sake of the boat. The off-watch stayed up to wool kites whilst the on-watch trimmed and helmed. As I've mentioned before, various crew came to me and offered to take on the less exciting duties of others (such as cleaning heads, etc) so that they might free their crew mate to helm more and thus improve boat speed. This is the team work we all strive to instil and it makes a difference. We've been a fast boat this race. Granted, our result is possibly buoyed by events at race start but, nonetheless, we have crossed the South Indian Ocean, a distance of 4,900 miles, in just 22 days. That's quick. We await the results of the Ocean Sprint, but I'm pretty sure we were quick there too, averaging over 11 kts for the 330 miles. Whether quick enough to beat GoToBermuda and the lead pack is yet to be seen.
In closing then, I just wanted to say a big thank you to all those following this wonderful team as they do something truly remarkable and race 'Black Betty' around the world. I think we are all tired now and looking forward to some R & R, but I'm sure I speak for the crew when I say that knowing we are followed by many at home makes a big difference when it's cold and wet and another 4am watch change comes-a-knocking. And finally, thank you to our competitors. Well done to Qingdao, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam and Imagine your Korea, setting a scorching pace that none of us could match and congratulations on thoroughly deserved podiums. And thanks especially to GoToBermuda and Zhuhai, whose persistent speed and relentless pressure kept us on our toes and pushing for the finish.
As the dawn breaks, I look through the hatch above the nav station and our instruments tell me we have just 69 miles to finish. And guess what, we've 19.2kts wind speed from 140 degrees true. Our wind instruments are working. Now let’s finish this race.
All the best from
Dan, Mark and the WTC Logistics Leg 3 crew