Gold Coast lead tight Clipper fleet
Day 3 of leg 14 from Derry to Den Helder in the Netherlands has
seen the fleet of ten 68-foot ocean racing yachts tussle in a tight duel upwind.
Gold Coast Australia continues to fight to maintain its
lead whilst Visit Finland has made gains on its rivals and moved two
places up the leader board into second. With only 12 miles separating the
leading five teams (and only 40 miles for the whole fleet), there is still all to play for.
De Lage Laden skipper Stuart Jackson explains,
“The racing has been fantastic throughout the night with boats tacking within a
few boat lengths of each other. So everyone has had to stay on their game and
their seamanship skills have been exemplary.”
With two miles currently
separating the team from third place, the Dutch entry will be keen to secure a
podium win on its return home to the Netherlands. However this will be no mean feat as the last 24 hours
have seen trial and tribulation for the fleet with reports of strong winds and
the choppy sea state likened to being in a washing machine.
Seasickness has also
swept across the fleet and in the upwind conditions, the crew members on board
have been working hard on double watches, performing relentless sail changes in
a bid to keep pace.
Crewed by ‘people like you’ the Clipper Race offers the
challenge of a lifetime to circumnavigate the world for people from all walks of
life. The fleet is expected to arrive in Den Helder in the Netherlands between
11-13 July and will set off on its final race back to Southampton on 19 July,
finishing in the Solent on Sunday 22 July.