Leading Clipper boats park off the coast of Brazil

The area off the coast of Brazil has turned into a parking lot for the
leading pack today. As the teams try to eek out every bit of power from
the rapidly diminishing wind, frustration is palpable amongst the

“So near and yet so far!” exclaims Jamaica Lightning Bolt's skipper,
Pete Stirling. “It looks like the five yachts in the leading pack have
all pretty much run out of wind. We have just 249 nautical miles to go
to the finish but with the current rate of progress it could easily take
three days or more to cover that distance. However, there is absolutely
no let up for the crew as we desperately try and keep the boat moving.”

Spirit of Australia is really starting to feel the pressure as the teams
behind continue to close the gap. “A long old day of drifting, bobbing
and being generally frustrated has just passed,” says skipper Brendan
Hall. “Watching Jamaica Lightning Bolt eating away at our lead with
every schedule was the worst, not being able to figure out what they
were doing differently to us. However, the cool of the evening yesterday
has brought renewed energy and we have been steadily making those miles
back by the handful.”

Cape Breton Island has emerged from Stealth Mode and, as with Qingdao
yesterday, their cloaking card has worked, sneaking ahead of Jamaica
Lightning Bolt into third place. The team's skipper, Jan Ridd, is
relieved, having spent the past 24-hours struggling in the same light
winds as the front runners. Today, however, things seem to be looking up
for the Canadian entry.

“Well we have eventually found a decent breeze,” explains Jan. “We're
currently sailing towards the finish at a half decent rate, which is
nice after spending Stealth Mode struggling to keep the kite filled.”

The team on board Cork has become the third in as many days to go into
Stealth Mode, which began at 1200 GMT today. With the drag run down the
coast, and the four way battle between Cork, Cape Breton Island, Spirit
of Australia and Jamaica Lightning Bolt, the Irish entry has decided to
use the final opportunity to play their Stealth Mode. The Sailing
Instructions for Race 2 will not allow teams to enter Stealth Mode in
the last 250 nautical miles of the race. The Race Office is therefore
keeping a careful eye on their position and will bring them out early if

Hull & Humber's decision to head inshore is starting to pay off, despite
the fact that yesterday it looked as though Qingdao had stolen a clear
march on them by keeping further offshore. The favourable currents the
team were searching for have started to kick in, much to the relief of
skipper Piers Dudin.

“Although we only gained on Qingdao in the later stages yesterday,” says
Piers. “I think we're now in a strong position to attack them. We picked
up 2 knots of current for at least 20 hours so all in all we think it
paid out about 20 miles.

“Both watches have managed to keep Hull & Humber driving consistently
between 8 and 9 knots in around 10kts of true wind, so full credit to
watch leaders Tom Salt and Jeremy Reed.”

With only a few days of this race remaining, less for the lead boats,
thoughts are now turning to their imminent arrival in Rio.

“We are starting to make work lists and wish lists for kit and
organizing who's going to have what time off and when. Looking forward
to seeing the seven new crew who arrive in Rio on the 23rd, although
we'll sorely miss Olly, Nigel, Paul, Chloe, Glen and Chrissie,” says
Hull & Humber skipper Piers.

Meanwhile, at the back of the fleet, California is taking advantage of
the fact that they have finished racing to get on top of the jobs list.

“Still trucking along nicely and trying to catch up some miles over the
next few days,” says skipper Pete Rollason. “We are preparing as much as
we can in readiness for a short stopover in Rio.”

The finish line for Race 2 is situated just off Cabo Frio, 65 nautical
miles away from the Rio de Janeiro host venue for Clipper 09-10, Iate
Clube do Rio, based in Guanabara Bay.

Race Director, Joff Bailey, says “If Team Finland plays their cards
right and the forecasted wind holds true then a midday crossing tomorrow
(Monday 19 October) is entirely possible. Friends and families wishing
to welcome their teams to Rio should note that it will take the boats
approximately nine hours to make their way from the finish line to the
marina. Once the boats are alongside the crews will be allowed to move
freely around the yacht club but will not be allowed to leave until they
have cleared immigration.”

Positions at 1500GMT, Sunday 18 October

Boat DTF* DTL*
Team Finland 131nm 0nm
Spirit of Australia 222nm 91nm
Cape Breton Island 235nm 104nm
Jamaica Lightning Bolt 249nm 118nm
Qingdao 555nm 423nm
Hull & Humber 611nm 480nm
Uniquely Singapore 937nm 806nm
Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 973nm 841nm
California 1124nm 993nm (polled at 1400
Cork Stealth Mode

(*DTF = Distance To Finish, *DTL = Distance To Leader)

Full details of positions, updated every three hours can be found at

JPK 11.80 July 2024
Selden Asymetric Rib Technology
Cyclops Marine