Clipper Fleet Passes Equator Enroute To Vietnam
Published: Thursday, 28 January 2016
Derry~Londonderry~Doire leads Leg 5’s Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, followed by GREAT Britain less than three-nautical-miles behind and Qingdao, 30nm behind.
After days of taking a northerly route through Papua New Guinea, the fleet has finally reached a point where it can pick up the northeasterly Trade Winds, which will ease the passage to Da Nang, Vietnam.
The front 10 boats have crossed the Equator for the second time in this circumnavigation, which meant there were plenty of Shellbacks on board to help initiate the Pollywogs, those who had joined the boat for later legs and were crossing the line for the first time.
“Sailing has been tricky over the past day,” says Derry~Londonderry~Doire Skipper Daniel Smith. “Regular squalls have meant that we have been changing from full mainsail and no wind to 30 knots with heavily reduced sail. It has also rained very hard. Both watches have got on with the job and every time I put my head up to see how they are doing the boat is going well.”
While Visit Seattle has decided to follow the rest of the fleet, Mission Performance is staying further south as Skipper Greg Miller describes: “So we are currently following the coast of New Ireland around to the northwest and will pop out to the north in search of the northeasterly Trade Winds soon. Then we have the mammoth task of rejoining the fleet and taking a few places off them.”
Prior to the Equator crossing, GREAT Britain led the charge through the Scoring Gate, along with Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Qingdao. The crews were then awarded with their respective bonus points.
The Clipper fleet is expected to arrive in Da Nang, Vietnam between February 17-21. The crew will then embark on the second race of Leg 5 to the Olympic sailing city of Qingdao, China.