Clipper Race front runners start Ocean Sprint test

Five teams are currently pushing hard across the Ocean Sprint after enjoying more challenging conditions in the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms.

Race leader Garmin, GREAT Britain (second), Mission Performance (third), Derry~Londonderry~Doire (fourth), and ClipperTelemed+ (fifth) are all in the Ocean Sprint section of the course, racing to be the fastest across the section to gain an extra two bonus points.

The front of the pack is averaging more than 10 knots, despite the wind veering round to the north east and decreasing as the front passed. With the fleet in the same weather, apart from the two most westerly yachts LMAX Exchange and Qingdao, the Ocean Sprint will be an interesting test of skill.

Greg Miller, Skipper of Mission Performance, said he expected the 300 nautical mile Ocean Sprint to take around 30 hours. “The wind isn’t great and we won’t be able to make a direct route towards the other end of the Ocean Sprint gate and will have to gybe also, but if we can make good speed and helm accurately then we stand as good a chance as any.

“Today has been challenging for the helms and those on deck due to the conditions, with very large seas breaking over the decks and each wave pushing the boat off course, ensuring the helms have been getting a session of upper body workout, worthy of any personal trainer on each session on the wheel!” he added.

Max Stunnell, Skipper of eighth-placed PSP Logistics, said his crew did a great job yesterday with the front passing through, but are now struggling with lighter winds. “The helming was challenging and the boat speeds were electrifying. Dawn broke, and showed us the sea we had been hearing all night. As the morning continued the wind diminished and we were left with a large residual sea as a reminder of the night before.

“Helming has remained fair lively and sail area has increased. We now find ourselves on the edge of a moving high pressure system with the wind swinging through the compass in a pitch black night. We are sailing slowly in whatever way the wind takes us,” Max concluded.

Meanwhile, last night it was confirmed that Qingdao is the winner of Race 2’s three Scoring Gate bonus points, reaching the gate in the fastest time, 128 hours, 18 minutes.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire get two bonus points for a time of 130 hours 38 minutes, and Da Nang – Viet Nam one extra point for a time of 131 hours, 41 minutes.

Who will record the fastest Ocean Sprint time on the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms? 

– Clipper Ventures

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