Clipper Round The World Race Update
Published: Monday, 19 October 2015
Four teams have completed the Ocean Sprint section Leg 2 of the Clipper Round The World Race and are counting down the miles until the finish in Cape Town.
All teams pushed hard with average speeds of around 12 knots but it was Derry~Londonderry~Doire that recorded the time to beat so far, completing the 300 nautical mile section in 29 hours, 22 minutes. GREAT Britain was next with 29 hours 56 minutes while Mission Performance finished with 31 hours 23 minutes. Fleet leader Garmin recorded 32 hours and eight minutes.
ClipperTelemed+, Unicef, Da Nang-Viet Nam, IchorCoal, PSP Logistics and Visit Seattle are all in the midst of their Ocean Sprint battles.
After a good run and decision to not head for the Scoring Gate, LMAX Exchange is just ahead of Garmin overall on elapsed time standing first on the leaderboard. Qingdao, which decided to go for the Scoring Gate, is in sixth position.
Qingdao was the winner of Race 2’s three Scoring Gate bonus points, reaching the gate in the fastest time: 128 hours and 18 minutes.
With around 750 nautical miles to go to the finish for the front of the pack, teams are studying the weather files in anticipation of a high sliding round the bottom of Africa which could hinder progress at the end of the race.
“Most of our strategy right now is based on weather file information and choosing the best route we can,” says fifth-placed ClipperTelemed Skipper Diane Reid. “We have chosen to ‘ride the next front’ without climbing too high too early on the latitude to Cape Town. We are trying to pick the path of least resistance and most wind on our way in on our final approaches.”
For westerly yachts LMAX Exchange and Qingdao, crews have been working hard to maximise boat speed in the low-pressure system.
With gusts in the high 40s for Qingdao, Skipper Igor Gotlibovych believes it is sometimes becoming a matter of enduring the racing rather than going for all-out boat speed.
LMAX Exchange Skipper Olivier Cardin described the conditions his team had been facing, including gusts of up to the mid to high 50’s.
“For the last two days, we have been sailing very fast with about 35 knots of wind,” says Cardin. “The waves are now big, some should be about 10 metres and it's very impressive to surf them. The boat accelerates to 20 knots so fast. The ambiance on deck is wet as we are sometimes submerged entirely.
Leg 2 of the 40,000nm Round the World Race is set to finish the last week of October in Cape Town, South Africa.