Clipper Race Fleet Ready For Next Battle In Panama
Published: Tuesday, 24 May 2016
The Clipper Race fleet is heading to Panama full steam ahead after a pit stop in Banana Bay Marina, Costa Rica for refueling ahead of the cabal transit.
ClipperTelemed+ and Derry~Londonderry~Doire are expected to be the first teams to arrive at Flamenco Island Marina, Panama, 0900-1000 local time (Tuesday 1400-1500 UTC) May 24, followed by Race 10 winner LMAX Exchange and Unicef at lunch time the same day. Upon arrival, the yachts will be measured and inspected by the authorities, which then set the transit times according to their schedule. Until this process is complete, there is no definitive time that each yacht will begin its journey through the canal. Garmin, Qingdao, GREAT Britain and IchorCoal will also refuel before carrying on to Panama where their arrival is estimated for Wednesday May 25.
Mission Performance, Visit Seattle, PSP Logistics and Da Nang – Viet Nam will refuel on May 24 before carrying on to Panama for arrival on Friday May 27.
(Da Nang – Viet Nam)
As the teams are no longer racing and continuing under motor, it is important in the warm temperatures that they take time out from having the engine running, allowing it to cool and for general maintenance checks to be carried out. Travelling in groups of four has turned this time of day into a social occasion for the crew who have been taking advantage of such moments to cool down in the flat calm sea when they have felt it is safe to do so.
GREAT Britain round the world crew member Simon Rosbottom summarises the day of May 22 in his crew diary. “This morning, to an opening of "Goooood Morning Costa Rica!" our little flotilla of Garmin, GREAT Britain, Qingdao and IchorCoal were treated to the ‘Garmin Girls Radio Show’. Hosts, Jenn Burgiss and Holly Kitching, treated us to an hour of music, 'phone-ins', repartee and banter. Agony Aunt Jenny Day fielded a wide range of calls, dealing with personal problems from across the fleet. For example, one anonymous caller radioed in on behalf of his grandmother regarding her Stannah stairlift. Apparently, it's driving her up the wall.
“Another long, hot day was punctuated at lunchtime with a communal swim. All four boats dropped their mainsails, shut off their engines and drifted south-eastwards for a couple of hours whilst the crew jumped over the side and swam in 2500 metres of water. Our paddling pool was hoiked over the side to fulfil its originally intended purpose - a dinghy. This also came in useful later on as we ferried fuel cans over to IchorCoal with Rowan Fernando crewing it solo. He had a pair of oars with him in case the towing line was lost so it truly was a Rowan boat,” Simon added.
Race 11 from Panama to New York is due to start May 30. In 10 weeks’ time, the Clipper Race fleet will cross the final finish line of its 40,000 nautical mile ocean odyssey, and its crew will return to St Katharine Docks, London to a hero’s welcome.