Life continues at a lean for many teams during the eighth day of Race 3: The Dell Latitude Rugged Race as the fleet slogs it out in tough upwind conditions.
With around 3,400 nautical miles to go until Fremantle, Sanya Serenity Coast maintains its lead over the rest of the fleet although the distance it had over the other teams has considerably reduced over the last 24 hours. Skipper Wendy Tuck, explains: “Yesterday, the wind was much higher than forecasted…so I decided to shorten sail even more.
“Needless to say, it didn’t increase and a lot of the time we were slightly under powered. Hopefully, we can hold on to our little buffer zone.”
PSP Logistics has edged into second place ahead of Dare To Lead although both teams have been frustrated by a lack of progress and have tacked southwards. PSP Logistics Skipper, Matt Mitchell, reports: “Although progress isn't great, it's progress none the less. We have a good solid 10 knots boat speed giving us about 7 knots VMG (Velocity Made Good).”
Qingdao, which has played its Joker Card on this race, has climbed to fourth place, and is currently ahead of Liverpool 2018 to the north and GREAT Britain and Visit Seattle to the south. All of the teams are finding life at an angle a challenge and Qingdao Skipper, Chris Kobusch, reports: “I think I’m not the only one on board who is kind of over it now and looking forward to a change in wind direction to flatten the boat out.
“Besides the heeling we made reasonable good progress over the past 24 hours and are heading more or less in the right direction now.”
Having slipped to seventh position, Visit Seattle Skipper, Nikki Henderson, explains: “We have gone rogue – gone south – and now we are praying it pays off.
“The crew are relieved either way though as the wind has eased and therefore so has the lean. We had a tough day and a tough night. A few sail changes in bitterly cold conditions left the gang exhausted. Add that to a few bumps and bruises and the relentlessness of living life at 45 degrees and it's really a challenge.”
Skippers on board eighth-placed Unicef and ninth-placed Nasdaq have been lamenting the cold conditions that the teams are experiencing on board. Nasdaq Skipper, Rob Graham, reports: “Apparently, this is summer in this part of the world! With the sail plan and trim largely fixed, there isn't much to do on deck besides helming, so we have a rotation of crew spending a period below to stay warm.”
Garmin is currently in tenth position having taken the most northerly route of the teams to the east of HotelPlanner.com, which is currently in eleventh having previously diverted to Port Elizabeth. The latter is experiencing slightly different weather conditions from the rest of the fleet and Skipper, Conall Morrison, explains: “Today, we find ourselves beating into a South South-Easterly gale, making no progress towards the finish line on this course. However, such is sailing and we knew the last two days’ progress couldn't last forever.
“This tack should see us into a patch of more favourable winds tomorrow and so we can tack and point the boat back towards Fremantle.”
Clipper Race Meteorologist, Simon Rowell, predicts strong gusts for HotelPlanner.com overnight whilst there is a high-pressure system approaching the rest of the fleet making for some interesting tactical decisions.
Stay tuned to the Clipper Race Viewer, with its hourly position updates, to see how the changing weather conditions will affect the fleet! Read more on the Skipper Reports and Crew Blogs available on the Team Pages.
All data correct at time of publishing.
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