Southern ocean ride beckons for Clipper on day four

After a slow start, teams are relieved to be making better direction south towards the notoriously strong currents of the Southern Ocean and the Roaring Forties as they bid to improve progress in the race to Albany, Western Australia.

Spreading out across a wide frontage, Skippers have been reporting 25 knots of wind, providing steadier boat speeds of up to 10 knots as they look to finally put the fickle conditions around Cape Agulhas behind them. Race leader LMAX Exchange has built a sizeable gain over the rest of the fleet as Skipper Olivier Cardin reports: “The first few days racing have been quite incredible for LMAX Exchange. Since the first two days, we have been doubling our lead every day. We knew that the leading boats would be served first with the wind, but at this point we have enjoyed more than seconds!”

He predicts however that his good fortune may not last, adding: “The coming days will not be as happy as the high pressure will overtake us and give us light north-easterly wind. The other boats will always have more wind and will catch up progressively.”

Mission Performance is now in second place as of early this morning after the most northerly positioned team Qingdao, now third, started to dive south to avoid the lighter northern winds.

Despite bringing up the rear of the fleet, Visit Seattle Skipper Huw Fernie is feeling positive, as he reports: “It's a new dawn and a new day on Visit Seattle. The sun is shining though it can't take the chill out of the morning and most welcome of all is the wind; strong and from the north east, meaning we are on track and heading towards Australia for the first time since Day 1.

“Spirits are high on board, the lighter winds of the last few days means we are well rested and seasickness is at a minimum despite the regular bouncing. Also we are enjoying the occasional patch of weightlessness as we find a gap in the waves to fall into, then a slam, a surge upwards, probably a ring of the ships bell, and then we push onwards to find another one.

The most southerly positioned team, ClipperTelemed+, is expecting to cross the 40S line tomorrow morning, which officially marks the start of the Southern Ocean. Skipper Matt Mitchell says: “The conditions are very different from when I was here last and I suspect a few curve balls are going to be dealt to the fleet over the coming weeks at sea. I for one am looking forward to the big surfing conditions that this remote part of the planet is notorious for. As yet we have only experienced strong headwinds which can at times be most tedious.”

1 LMAX Exchange -38.90993 31.07780 4012.09NM   90NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
2 Qingdao -38.17585 27.87438 4165.42NM -153.33NM 118NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
3 Mission Performance -39.12224 26.79431 4182NM -169.91NM 99NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
4 Derry~Londonderry~Doire -38.49589 26.97718 4192.92NM -180.83NM 101NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
5 Garmin -38.87730 25.91475 4224.93NM -212.84NM 103NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
6 GREAT Britain -38.54949 26.13510 4225.73NM -213.64NM 96NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
7 Unicef -40.13788 24.16647 4257.26NM -245.17NM 114NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
8 Da Nang – Viet Nam -39.27767 24.79208 4258.25NM -246.16NM 102NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
9 PSP Logistics -39.05581 24.93377 4259.24NM -247.15NM 103NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
10 ClipperTelemed+ -40.78389 22.95418 4285.34NM -273.25NM 114NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
11 IchorCoal -38.45658 24.50089 4294.89NM -282.8NM 90NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
12 Visit Seattle -39.25145 21.71271 4381.75NM -369.66NM 97NM 04 November 2015 22.00 (UTC) racing  
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