Nord Stream Race 30.08.2018

Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Schweden) gewinnt die Stockholm-Etappe bei Volvo Ocean Race-Bedingungen

Stockholm, 30. August 2017 – Nach einer stürmischen Nacht mit Boots-geschwindigkeiten über 20 Knoten hat der Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Schweden) heute Vormittag als verdienter Sieger die zweite Etappe des diesjährigen Nord Stream Race gewonnen.

Mit 420 Seemeilen war dies die längste und bislang härteste der vier Etappen der Ostsee-Langstreckenregatta von Kiel nach St. Petersburg. Sie verlief entlang der schwedischen Küste von Kopenhagen nach Stockholm. Zieleinlauf war beim Königlich Schwedischen Yacht Club (KSSS) in Saltsjöbaden, südlich von Stockholm.

Der Deutsche Touring Yacht-Club, der die erste Etappe von Kiel nach Kopenhagen für sich entscheiden konnte, hatte einen guten Start und führte die Flotte der fünf ClubSwan 50 in der erste Nacht auf der Route südlich von Schweden an. Später wurde er südlichen von Bornholm vom schwedischen Team überholt. Nachts um 1.30 Uhr riss dann bei den Deutschen der Gennaker, so dass das Team Schweden ungehindert davonziehen konnten.

Wie ein mini-Volvo Ocean Race


In der letzten Nacht hatten die Segler mit Windstärken bis zu 30 Knoten zu kämpfen. In der Dunkelheit mit Top-Speed über die Ostsee zu jagen, hat die Crews oft ans Limit gebracht. “Es kommt nicht oft vor, dass ich beim Segeln Angst bekomme, aber letzte Nacht war es soweit. Es war wie ein mini-Volvo Ocean Race,“ berichtete der erfahrende Offshore-Segler Martin Krite vom schwedischen Team, der 2011-12 das Round the world race gewonnen hat. “Ich stand am Heck und war wirklich sehr nervös.“

Top Speed beim Nord Stream Race

Bei achterlichem Wind haben die ClubSwan 50 Yachten unter Gennaker Höchstgeschwindigkeiten von 22 Knoten erreicht, und damit einen neuen Rekord beim Nord Stream Race gesetzt. Allerdings kam es dabei auch zu Problemen beim Bootshandling: “Bevor wir die schwedischen Schären erreichten, ist das Boot aus dem Ruder gelaufen und lag mehrere Minuten auf der Seite,” sagte Martin Krite vom siegreichen schwedischen Team. Zum Glück wurde niemand verletzt und es gab keine Schäden am Schiff.

Die Boote waren so schnell, dass die Teams schon einen Tag früher in Stockholm eintrafen, als ursprünglich von den Veranstaltern geplant.

Dadurch haben die Teams jetzt einen wohlverdienten Tag mehr, um sich im Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden in Stockholm auszuruhen bevor es am 2. September auf der dritten Etappe weiter nach Helsinki geht.

Die Zeiten der 2. Etappe (420 Seemeilen) Kopenhagen – Stockholm:

1. Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Sweden) – 43h 29m 09s

2. Frederikshavn Sejlklub (Team Denmark) – 44h 18m 34s

3. Nyländska Jaktklubben (Team Finland) – 44h 33m 32s

4. Lord of the Sail – Europe (Team Russia) – 44h 51m 27s

5. Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club (Team Germany) – 46h 13m 06s

Die besten Clubs der nationalen Segel-Ligen aus Deutschland, Dänemark, Schweden, Finnland und Rußland segeln dieses Jahr beim neuaufgelegten Nord Stream Race gegeneinander. Die Teams der teilnehmenden Clubs gehen mit einer zehnköpfigen Crew auf brandneuen 15 Meter langen One-Design-Rennyachten ClubSwan 50 an den Start.

Sie können das Rennen hier verfolgen:

Das Nord Stream Race, eine Langstreckenregatta durch die Ostsee, wird seit 2012 vom russischen Saint Petersburg Yacht Club mit Unterstützung von Gazprom und der Nord Stream AG ausgerichtet. Die Rennstrecke ist 1.000 Seemeilen lang und verläuft entlang der Nord Stream Pipeline. Die Regatta verbindet so die baltischen Länder, Russland, Deutschland, Finnland, Schweden und Dänemark. Die Flotte besteht aus fünf ClubSwan 50 Yachten.


Unter dem Motto „Connecting Baltics through Sports“ führt die Langstrecken-Regatta vom 26. August bis 7. September von Kiel nach Saint Petersburg – mit Zwischenstopps in Kopenhagen, Stockholm und Helsinki.

Folge dem Rennen live!
Nord Stream Race
Gerald Gebhardt
Englische Planke 8
20459 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: +49 171 976 41 06 E-mail:

Nord Stream AG
Industriestrasse 18
6302 Zug, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 41 766 91-91 E-mail:




Clipperrace 30.08.2017

30 AUGUST 2017

The Clipper Race fleet continued to make good progress under spinnaker in the Trade Winds but the race leaders further south are starting to feel the heat, quite literally.

Qingdao and GREAT Britain continue to hold on to first and second position respectively but and Dare To Lead have snuck into third and fourth position, overtaking Sanya Serenity Coast from the east.

Skipper of Qingdao, Chris Kobusch, reports: “We are experiencing the finest spinnaker weather and are flying towards our destination at around 10 knots. The rest of the fleet is chasing us at a similar course and pace and a lot can happen over the next 4 days.

“The only real struggle at the moment is the heat inside the yacht. [With the] ventilated fiberglass hull that gets heated from the inside as well as from the burning sun outside…you get one of the finest saunas available. The crew takes it with more or less humour and the occasional salt water bucket shower at the back of the boat becomes more and more frequent.” has clearly benefitted from being able to keep their medium weight spinnaker flying for over 80 hours although the Skipper, Conall Morrison, is finding the more temperate climes a bit challenging: “The heat is a bit much for me personally, and there was a welcome cheer from the crew when our Engineer, Greg Glover, declared that there was enough water for everyone to have a shower.”

Sanya Serenity Coast has slipped into fifth position and Skipper, Wendy Tuck, reports: “Tonight has been a tough night, started off lovely, then the cloud cover came over which made helming under kite a tad difficult. We only had our more experienced helms on but, at times, was still tricky. So far, so good, and it is just getting lighter now so hopefully we have got through this one unscathed.”

Visit Seattle, Garmin, Unicef, and Liverpool 2018 all follow closely behind in the leaderboard with PSP Logistics a bit further back along with Nasdaq who has been busy making sail repairs. Rob Graham, Skipper of Nasdaq, explains the dilemma he faced about re-hoisting the recently repaired spinnaker: “The wind and sea conditions were perfect for a spinnaker run, but I eventually decided to play safe: continue the helm coaching under Yankee 1, and plan for a kite hoist at first light tomorrow.”

Greenings has made a welcome return to the race after a brief diversion to Porto, following the injury to the Skipper (David Hartshorn). The team is currently lying in twelfth place but it is important to note that they will be given some redress for the time taken for the diversion.

Deputy Race Director, Daniel Smith, who has taken over as interim Skipper for the rest of Race 1 says: “We plan to continue with the high standards that Dave has set onboard and will sail safely, perfect our skills and race the boat to Uruguay. We are a few days behind the fleet but we will aim to keep hot on their tails and wait for some opportunities to open up. We need a bit of luck and some good weather but I’ve always said the harder we work the luckier we get.”

The Trade Winds are expected to increase gradually, and there will be more gusts at the north end of the fleet, but for the next 24 hrs these should stay less than 25 kts. The Clipper Race fleet is expected to make the most of these winds before entering the Doldrums corridor. Squall activity is still quite low although some drizzle is expected, which will come as a relief from the increasing heat!

NB: All race standings and forecasting accurate at time of publishing



Extreme40 2018


The 2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ is ready for take-off

OC Sport, founder and organiser of the Extreme Sailing Series™, is officially inviting team entries for the 2018 season, with the release of the provisional Notice of Race.

The twelfth Series will visit eight iconic venues across three continents. The calendar and venues will allow the teams increased access to boats and facilitate larger racing areas, whilst remaining true to the core Stadium Racing format that the Series is famed for.

Event Director Andy Tourell commented: „For the Extreme Sailing Series, sporting integrity remains our number one priority. The past two years have seen a successful transition to the foiling GC32 and I am looking forward to continuing to build on this success to deliver the very best racing for the teams. This ultimately results in the best experience for hard-core sailing fans, guests, public spectators and the world’s media.

„We will be adapting the Series logistics in 2018,“ added Tourell, „to enable greater access to boats for the teams and deliver direct engagement with more markets over a 24-month period for our commercial partners. 2018 represents the first phase of this strategy, engaging with new markets in line with the interests of our sponsors and teams, while we will also return to a number of key territories that we have hit in the 2017 season.“

The Series will continue to build on the trend of the past four years that has seen the average size of racecourses grow, while maintaining the proximity of the foiling action to the shore.

Race Director John Craig explained: „With the GC32s being as quick as they are we need to give them a little bit more room to stretch, but we won’t lose the stadium feel. We will continue to bring the boats close to the spectators by positioning part of the racecourse close to shore.“

The diverse racing format will include open water racing in some venues to maximise the potential of the high-speed foiling GC32s.

In addition, the 2018 schedule will increase the teams‘ access to the boats. „A key goal of the Notice of Race is to enable the sailors to have more time with their boats. Some of the venues we have selected will reduce shipping time, which will increase the amount of time sailors have to use their boats,“ explained Craig.

The Series will continue to deliver a busy menu of racing unrivalled by other events, which can see up to 32 races at every Act. This means more racing for the sailors and a better entertainment schedule for public spectators, VIP guests and media.

The world class standard of racing and unique corporate sponsorship platform offered by the Series, which is one of only six World Sailing Special Events, is expected to attract both returning and new teams made up of some of the world’s best sailors.

The Extreme Sailing Series‘ award-winning hospitality programme, which includes the opportunity for guests to ride on board the boats during racing, will continue to be developed in conjunction with the teams, Host Venue Partners and Series Partners.

Entry is open immediately and the 2018 calendar of events, including venue locations, will be announced in the coming months, along with the shape of the 2019 Series.

Teams who are interested in competing in the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series, or who would like more information about the provisional Notice of Race, should email



Clipperrace 29.08.2011

29 AUGUST 2017

Following an impressive climb up the leaderboard, Qingdao, is still holding pole position, with GREAT Britain in second place and Sanya Serenity Coast third, as champagne sailing conditions with around 20 knots of following wind provide perfect spinnaker sailing for teams as the journey south continues.

With the earlier tactics of heading west paying off, GREAT Britain, currently chasing down Qingdao on the westerly edge of the fleet, is striving to improve its position further still.

Skipper Andy Burns reports: “It’s been a beautiful day for sailing with good winds and fine weather. This morning was spent sharing helming on the spinnaker and honing the crews skills at sailing down wind.”

Adding, Andy says: “The race long ‘Bulldog’ strategy has already created unique opportunities and we hope our stage one objective will bare fruits that you will all recognise shortly.”

With the excellent downwind conditions looking set to stay for a while, many of the Skippers have been using the opportunity to coach and develop their crew and have been commending their efforts, with some Skippers even feeling able to catch up on some of the sleep they may have lost in these early stages of the race.

Garmin Skipper Gaëtan Thomas, in seventh, says: “Water is still flying under the hull, we are still under spinnaker and making some progress south west. It is interesting to see the fleet coming back together with the positioning report changing quiet a lot as most of us are on a same line.”

Taking the opportunity to develop his crew in the great conditions, he adds: “Another helming coaching day, learning the art of spinnaker sailing and keeping a surf. One by one each hour, so now we have about eight good drivers for day sailing, and four for night sailing.”

Eighth placed Skipper Bob Beggs reported: “The Unicef team were enjoying great sailing today, perfect downwind sailing with many new helms being trained up. Life onboard is good, I even managed to get a good night sleep, heaven!”

Navigationally he noted: “We crossed the latitude of the straits of Gibraltar two hours ago this was abundantly obvious by the density of crossing traffic heading into the Mediterranean or to North America. With Europe now behind us Morocco and Africa is on our left flank, it’s going to get hot and sticky from here on!”

Also impressed with his crew’s progress, Liverpool 2018 Skipper Lance Shepherd, in ninth, reports: “So last night we decided to sail with an asymmetric overnight after sailing fairly conservatively during the night previously, and it comes as no surprise that the team have nailed it! Flying consistently with no issues whatsoever, holding a good course and buzzing along.”

Whilst the conditions have been excellent, not all went to plan however as a few teams, including Qingdao and Visit Seattle, and Nasdaq all cited ‘kitemares.’

With Nasdaq’s spinnaker troubles continuing from yesterday, Skipper Rob Graham is clearly frustrated after suffering another kite-mare saying: “The teamwork attitude is strong on Nasdaq, even though it is horribly frustrating to be under white sails in perfect spinnaker conditions, especially knowing that the other boats could be pulling away from us.”

Rob and the Skippers will be glad to hear that the general good flow of the trade winds is set to continue as the fleet heads further south. With no squall activity seen yet, and the forecast is looking positive until south of the canaries, it is still all to play for as the teams continue to work hard for their positions.

Well-wishes continue to pour in for Greenings skipper David Hartshorn, who underwent successful surgery on his injured hand yesterday and will be returning to the UK to continue treatment and recovery with the aim to re-join his team in the later stages of the race.

Until then, we are pleased to report that Greenings is now successfully alongside in Porto and the team has been greeted by David himself, Race Manager Sarah Hoare and Deputy Race Director, Dan Smith, who will Skipper Greenings onward to Punta del Este. Check here for further updates on the Clipper Race website as we have them.

All positions correct at time of writing. To stay up to date with the fleet’s positions keep an eye on the Clipper Race Viewer.

To read about the crew’s experiences, check out their insightful Crew Diaries on the team pages on our website, links to each below.


Nord Stream Race 28.08.2017


Nord Stream Race 2017

Die zweite Etappe des Nord Stream Race 2017 ist heute Nachmittag in Kopenhagen gestartet. Die Route führt bei der mit 420 Seemeilen längsten Etappe der vom St. Petersburg Yacht Club organisierten Regatta südlich entlang der schwedischen Küste nach Stockholm.

Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club startet als Favorit in zweite Etappe des Nord Stream Race nach Stockholm

Kopenhagen, 28. August 2017 – Die zweite Etappe des Nord Stream Race 2017 ist heute Nachmittag in Kopenhagen gestartet. Die Route führt bei der mit 420 Seemeilen längsten Etappe der vom St. Petersburg Yacht Club organisierten Regatta südlich entlang der schwedischen Küste nach Stockholm.

Vor dem Start zur zweiten Etappe fanden am Vormittag auf den ClubSwan 50- Rennyachten drei kurze Inshore-Rennen vor der Haustür vom gastgebenden Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub in Skovshoved statt. Bei leichten südöstlichen Winden lieferten sich die Teams spannende Duelle. Wieder dominierte der Deutsche Touring Yacht-Club aus Süddeutschland das Feld und konnte die beiden ersten Rennen für sich entscheiden. Bereits gestern hatte das junge Team die erste Etappe von Kiel nach Kopenhagen überraschend gewonnen.

Beim dritten Inshore-Rennen vor Kopenhagen ging der Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Schweden) als Erster über die Ziellinie.

Um 14.15 Uhr ertönte der Startschuss zur zweiten Etappe des Nord Stream Race nach Stockholm. Die zweite, 420 Seemeilen lange Etappe dauert voraussichtlich zwei bis drei Tage.

Für Skipper Michael Tarabochia vom deutschen Team ist klar: „Unser größtes Ziel ist es, die gesamte Etappe konzentriert zu segeln. Wir wollen den idealen Kurs nach Stockholm finden und gleichzeitig das Boot mit Höchstgeschwindigkeit segeln.“

Eigentlich sollte der Cape Crow Yacht Club (Team Schweden) in den schwedischen Schären einen Heimvorteil haben, aber Skipper Patrik Sturesson rechnet nicht damit: „Es ist eine lange Etappe, da kann jedem Team alles mögliche passieren. Wir müssen unsere Kräfte genauso einteilen, wie die anderen.“

Die besten Clubs der nationalen Segel-Ligen aus Deutschland, Dänemark, Schweden, Finnland und Rußland segeln dieses Jahr beim neuaufgelegten Nord Stream Race gegeneinander. Die Teams der teilnehmenden Clubs gehen mit einer zehnköpfigen Crew auf brandneuen 15 Meter langen One-Design- Rennyachten ClubSwan 50 an den Start.



Extreme40 Cardiff 28.08.2017


SAP Extreme Sailing Team triumphs in Cardiff to reclaim 2017 lead

It went down to the wire between SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi in the thrilling finale of Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6, Cardiff, but the Danes pipped the Swiss to the post in the final throes of battle. The Danish squad claimed its third win of the season to go top of the overall leaderboard.

Oman Air was forced to settle for third and hand over the 2017 lead to SAP Extreme Sailing Team, after Phil Robertson and his men struggled to find their form of the previous two Acts.

Over 90,000 spectators turned out over the Bank Holiday weekend to watch the international fleet in action on Cardiff Bay, and were rewarded for their efforts today with six nail-biting races and plenty of sunshine.

For a moment, the cracks began to show for SAP Extreme Sailing Team, allowing Alinghi to claw back vital points and enter the final double-points race neck-and-neck with its main rival. But, a disastrous start dashed any hopes of victory for the Swiss team.

„It feels really good,“ said the winning helm, Adam Minoprio. „We went out there and started strong. The wheels fell off for a bit in the middle, and then we put the pressure on for the final race.

„That start, with Alinghi locked behind the committee boat and Oman Air over the line early, couldn’t have gone any better. We are stoked that we could keep our composure and take the win in the last race comfortably, and we’re really happy to take the lead as we head to America,“ added a delighted Minoprio, whose team also included Rasmus Køstner, Pierluigi de Felice, Mads Emil Stephensen, Richard Mason and coach and co-skipper Jes Gram-Hansen.

Although he doesn’t get to take home the prize, co-skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis was pleased with his team’s progress after a sub-par performance in the previous Act: „It was a really good day and a good regatta for us. The team sailed very well and this was great for us after Hamburg. I’m disappointed to have had a bad start in that final race, but that’s the game. Overall, we’re really happy.

„It’s all to play for and we can still win the season, that’s the goal. We’re just going to have to work harder next time,“ added Psarofaghis, whose team won the Series in 2016 and currently sits third in the overall standings.

„It’s been a very difficult event for us,“ said Oman Air skipper Phil Robertson. „But, we’re standing on the podium so all in all it’s still a great place to be. We’re the only team that has podiumed at every event so far.“

„We’re pretty fired up now and the guys have got a lot of passion going forward into San Diego,“ added Robertson.

Red Bull Sailing Team, skippered by double Olympic gold medallist Roman Hagara, found its feet as the day came to a close, posting its first bullet of the Act in the penultimate race. But, by that time, the damage was done and a podium finish was out of reach. The Austrian team finished fourth for the Act and remains fourth for the season.

NZ Extreme Sailing Team, helmed by America’s Cup champion Josh Junior, follow the Austrian crew in fifth but take the Zhik Speed Machine Trophy, with insights from SAP, for the top speed of the Act at 23.2 knots. They finish ahead of the two British-flagged entries Land Rover BAR Academy and Team Extreme Wales.

The 2017 Flying Phantom Series drew to a close today and it was total domination for Red Bull Sailing Team. The Austrian squad has claimed victories in all four of the European Acts, in the first year the Series has been partnered with the Extreme Sailing Series. Culture Foil finish the season in second followed by Solidaires en Peloton in third. View the full results here.

„It’s been amazing,“ said winning helm Thomas Zajac, who sailed this Act alongside Will Ryan. „I have watched the Extreme Sailing Series for many years on TV, so it’s great to be here and to sail in amongst it. It’s always nice as a sailor having so many people coming out to watch you and getting to show off your sport.

„The racing was very tricky here in Cardiff but we managed to sail smart, tried not to put too much risk into it, and just did our thing. In the end it paid off,“ commented Zajac on his victory.

Act 6, Cardiff marks the end of the European leg of the 2017 season, following events in Madeira Islands, Barcelona and Hamburg. The Series now heads to two brand new venues in the Americas for the final two Acts. Act 7 takes place in San Diego, from the 19 – 22 October. Find out more on the official website.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6, Cardiff, standings after Day 4, 14 races (28.08.17)
Position / Team / Points
1st SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Rasmus Køstner, Adam Minoprio, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi de Felice, Richard Mason 158 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 150 points.
3rd Oman Air (OMA) Phil Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 139 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Will Tiller 134 points.
5th NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) Graeme Sutherland, Josh Junior, Harry Hull, Shane Diviney, Josh Salthouse 129 points.
6th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Rob Bunce, Owen Bowerman, Oli Greber, Adam Kay, Mark Spearman 125 points.
7th Team Extreme Wales (GBR) Stevie Morrison, Alain Sign, Martin Evans, Michael Beckett, James French 110 points.

2017 Extreme Sailing Series™ overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 66 points.
2nd Oman Air (OMA) 64 points.
3rd Alinghi (SUI) 61 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 56 points.
5th NZ Extreme Sailing Team (NZL) 48 points.
6th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 47 points.

Flying Phantom Series Cardiff standings after Day 4, 14 races (28.08.17)
Position / Team / Points
1st Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT): Thomas Zajac (AUT)/Will Ryan (AUS) 267 points.
2nd ZEPHYR by Idreva (FRA): Charles Hainneville (FRA)/Antoine Rucard (FRA) 262 points.
3rd Culture Foil (FRA): Eric Peron (FRA)/Théo Constance (FRA) 255 points.
4th Solidaires en Peloton (FRA): Thibaut Vauchel-Camus (FRA)/David Fanouillere (FRA) 253 points.
5th UON (POR): Helder Basilio (POR)/João Sousa (POR) 238 points.
6th Oman Sail (OMA): Thomas Normand (FRA)/Antoine Joubert (FRA)/Ahmed Al Hasani (OMA) 222 points.
7th Flying Frogs (FRA): Pierre Le Clainche (FRA)/Arnaud Vasseur (FRA) 212 points.
8th Team Razzle Dazzle (SUI): Florian Trüb (SUI)/Ian Andrewes (USA/NZL) 211 points.
9th Masterlan (CZE): David Krizek (CZE)/Milan Harmacek (CZE) 196 points.
10th Lupe Tortilla (USA): John Tomko (USA)/Jonathan Atwood (USA) 181 points.
11th Red Bill II (FRA): Dominique Pichon (FRA)/David Mirabel (FRA) 136 points.
12th Back to Basics (FRA): Bruno Marais (FRA)/Eric Le Bouedec (FRA) 135 points.
13th EVO Visian ICL (GER): Raphael Neuhann (GER)/Elias Neuhann (GER) 118 points.

2017 Flying Phantom Series overall standings
Position / Team / Points
1st Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 80 points.
2nd Culture Foil (FRA) 73 points.
3rd Solidaires en Peloton (FRA) 65 points.
4th Oman Sail (OMA) 61 points.
5th Lupe Tortilla (USA) 58 points.
6th UON (POR) 57 points.
7th ZEPHYR by Idreva (FRA) 55 points.
8th EVO Visian ICL (GER) 46 points.
9th Masterlan (CZE) 44 points.
10th Back to Basics (FRA) 43 points.
11th Red Bill II (FRA) 37 points.
12th Cup Legend (FRA) 36 points.
13th Flying Frogs (FRA) 25 points.
14th Team Razzle Dazzle (SUI) 13 points.
15th Black Flag Racing (FRA) 11 points.



Clipperrace 28.08.2017

28 AUGUST 2017

There has been a major change to the Clipper Race leaderboard in the last 24 hours as Qingdao has stormed through to take pole position after wind shifts favoured the westerly positioned teams.

Sanya Serenity Coast and Visit Seattle, placed further to the east, are clinging on to second and third place respectively, closely followed by Garmin, and Dare To Lead.

Skipper of Qingdao, Chris Kobusch, explains: “Going west and sailing the extra miles paid off as we got the northerly winds first and are now leading the fleet on the way to the Canary Islands.”

He is not resting on his laurels though and reports: “The yachts that went east got wind yesterday and are chasing us now at similar boat speeds. GREAT Britain,, PSP Logistics and Liverpool 2018 are also hot on our heels and it will be hard work to stay in first place.”

GREAT Britain, which has played its Joker Card and is currently in seventh position, may be one to watch as it has gone further west than Qingdao and benefitted from the same northerly winds.

Most of the fleet also made great progress from the wind shifts. The crew are now experiencing much smoother downwind sailing as they are able to hoist their spinnakers, with varying degrees of success…

Visit Seattle Skipper Nikki Henderson reports: “Wow, what a relief it is to be moving. It feels like the first time we have been moving in the right direction for the entire race so far.

She adds: “We’re about to approach our 24-hour mark with the kite up. The crew did a great job trimming and driving last night on a tough wind angle and swell … their improvement is quite remarkable. To think some of them had never sailed in their lives, and now they are helming at night with a kite up averaging 11 knots – yeeha!”

Rob Graham, Skipper of tenth placed Nasdaq, says: “We’ve had a great 24 hours – we finally got through the light airs patch in to some proper northerly wind, spent a few hours on helming and gybing practice then hoisted our mediumweight spinnaker and took off.”

Not everything went according to plan though and he added: “We had some exhilarating sailing, and made some great mileage through the day, but wrapped the kite around the forestay in the early evening. I had intended taking it down before sunset anyway, but dropping it straight onto the foredeck whilst around the rigging wasn’t what I had in mind.”

Further back in the fleet, some teams are yet to fully benefit from the northerly wind. Roy Taylor, Skipper of eleventh placed PSP Logistics, says: “After making good progress south-westwards we have hit another area of light wind. We are trying to get to the south of the Azores High to get a fair breeze to carry us down to the Cape Verdes. Progress is slow and we will ponder our options at the next weather forecast from Simon Rowell (the Clipper Race meteorologist).”

Simon has some good news for the fleet with the Trade Winds starting to take over and moving with them in a wide swathe from the Azores to the Canaries leading to really good sailing conditions. As the teams head south in to warmer waters though, they will need to watch out for the increased chance of squalls.

Away from the race, thoughts are very much with the Skipper of Greenings, David Hartshorn, and his crew. A helicopter medevac of David successfully took place yesterday afternoon so that he could receive emergency treatment on a serious hand injury and the crew are motoring to Porto under command of Clipper Race Coxswain, Jeremy Hilton. The messages of support to David and his crew have been much appreciated and further updates will follow in due course.

NB: All positions and forecasting were correct at time of publishing. For the latest positions visit the Race Viewer.