Clipperrace Race4 15.12.2017

15 DECEMBER 2017

With almost half the Clipper Race fleet now in Sydney, the thirteenth day of racing is proving pretty unlucky for the six teams still racing as un-forecasted windholes provide frustration in the final 100 nautical miles of this race.

Sydney Skipper Wendy Tuck pulled off the win into her home city as Sanya Serenity Coast was first over the The ClipperTelemed+ Tasman Test finish line, just 17 minutes ahead of Visit Seattle, and Qingdao took third spot. PSP Logistics was fourth and Dare to Lead finished in fifth.

Unicef is expected to be next to join the teams at the CYCA in Rushcutters Bay. However, with only 50nm left to the finish, Skipper Bob Beggs reports: “SOS save our souls, we need wind to sail in for Christmas. Yes the weather forecast has been optimistic, offering 15 knots of wind from the south giving code one (lightweight spinnaker) angles with the promise of arriving this evening for beer and showers, but the forecast didn’t pan out!

“Instead we have been going through our sail wardrobe to keep inching forward and just occasionally a little backwards in the adverse current.”

Garmin is in seventh with 90 nm to go and has been experiencing a similarly frustrating time with the windholes requiring an abundance of sail changes meaning the crew and Skipper are really being put through their paces to reach the end goal.

The battle between Liverpool 2018, Nasdaq and GREAT Britain continues to be intense with their race positions changing regularly as less than three miles currently separates them.

Skipper Rob Graham on board Nasdaq, which was eighth just an hour again and is now in tenth, says: “So close … and so little wind! We’re stuck in a wind hole less than 100nm from our finish line, drifting aimlessly on the current whilst our sails flap in still air. GREAT Britain, Garmin, Liverpool 2018 and are all close by and doing the same.

“On Nasdaq we’re making best use of the time by ticking a few more items off the jobs list, but it is incredibly frustrating to sit here waiting for wind and rolling in the swell.”

GREAT Britain Skipper Andy Burns says there are two less than ideal options facing the team, as he explains: “Option number one is to sail south away from a massive predicted windhole but away from Sydney, option number two is to sail directly towards a predicted windhole which is forecast to be there for Friday and Saturday unless we get some local weather effects.

“I’m leaving this decision to the crew and grabbing some shut eye after a busy night of changing sails.”

Only 10nm behind this group,, in eleventh, is striving to make gains in the final stages as the wind fills in, perhaps temporarily, at the back.

Skipper Conall Morrison reports: “A busy 24 hours on From 18 knot Spinnaker surfs last night to 0.0 knots in a wind hole at local midday, to a respectable 7.5 knots in the right direction just now.

“We need to congratulate Sanya Serenity Coast, Visit Seattle and Qingdao on their podium placings. It has been tough coastal sailing recently and they have certainly worked hard to get the best out of their boats.

“We look forward to having a beer with their crews when we arrive, unfortunately a Northerly wind and another wind hole may delay us that little bit more…”

Stay glued to the Race Viewer to watch how this final slog plays out for the teams.

To keep up to date on the latest positions as Race 4 comes to a close, check out the Clipper Race Viewer with its hourly updates and the latest ETA reports from Clipper Race Director Mark Light.

To read the Skipper Blogs in full, or to hear the latest from the crew, visit the Team Pages on the Clipper Race website.

Once in Sydney, look out on our Clipper Race Live page on Facebook for live videos of the teams arriving into port.

All positions were correct at time of publishing.


Clipperrace Race 4 14.12.2017

14 DECEMBER 2017

After twelve intense days and almost 2,500 nautical miles of racing, just half a nautical mile now separates frontrunner Sanya Serenity Coast, from second placed Visit Seattle, both led by the Clipper Race’s two female Skippers, as the teams cross the 100nm to finish mark.

After crossing paths with Qingdao, which has slipped from first to third place following an unfavourable tack, Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper Wendy Tuck cannot quite believe how close her team now is to Nikki Henderson’s Visit Seattle. She said: “Well this is just mad, after so many days racing and with 100 miles to go, we could high five the team on Visit Seattle, they are close! It might look close on the Race Viewer, well its closer in real life.”

But for Wendy, who is Skippering her second consecutive Clipper Race team entry, there is no time for complacency as she heads towards her Sydney hometown as she adds: “It has been an exciting race, so glad to have such great teams to race against, nothing is ever certain, every little bit you get a head could all just go crashing down so easily.”

On board Visit Seattle, Skipper Nikki echoes Wendy’s thoughts as she takes a moment to reflect on the race. She comments: “The last 500 nautical miles has seemed never-ending as we zig zag our way very, very slowly up the coast.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to sail with this fabulous crew this leg. Our highest male to female ratio so far of almost 50:50, with some great characters and a general good feeling atmosphere.”

With the end so very nearly in sight for the top three teams, and a spectacularly close finish on the cards, each of the Skippers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a wind shift from the south to help them along the way to Sydney.

Qingdao Skipper Chris Kobusch explains: “Just over 100 nautical miles (nm) to go. Unfortunately, we lost our lead last night on one terrible tack and are now in third position, behind Sanya Serenity Coast and Visit Seattle.

“The weather forecast suggests a wind shift to the south west, which would help us massively clearing the headlands in front of us. Without, we will have a long and unfavourable tack ahead of us.”

Following the leaders, PSP Logistics and Dare To Lead continue to make up the mid-pack remaining in fourth and fifth place and both report tricky upwind conditions as they push to claw back some miles on the leaders. PSP Logistics Skipper Matt Mitchell reports: “Well, this upwind stuff is getting tiresome! Thankfully the wind is due to shift around to the south over the next few hours giving us a last push before we arrive in.”

The battle for positions remains just as close towards the back of the fleet as just twelve nautical miles separates sixth placed Unicef from seventh placed Garmin, and just six nail biting nautical miles separatesg eighth placed GREAT Britain, Liverpool 2018 in ninth, Nasdaq in tenth and in eleventh.

Andy Burns, Skipper of GREAT Britain, is already experiencing the Southerly winds that the leading pack are hoping for and says: “We are in the mix with Garmin, Nasdaq, and Liverpool 2018. All, I’m sure, extremely keen to ride this southerly we are experiencing into Sydney Heads.”

With the last half of the fleet so tightly compacted, and mostly in sight of each other, teams have had a busy 24 hours and are making frequent sail changes to try and get ahead as they continue their drag race towards Sydney.

Nasdaq emerged from Stealth Mode at 0600 UTC and although currently sitting in tenth place, has been fluctuating up to eighth through the morning. Skipper Rob Graham explains: “We have spent most of our supposedly secret 24 hours within sight of GREAT Britain and/or Liverpool 2018, so unless that cloak of invisibility is operational, we’re not so sneaky after all.”

Looking ahead, the favourable southerly winds should kick in for the top half of the fleet over the next couple of hours and there will also be localised thermal effects with land and sea breezes for teams to consider as they approach Sydney. With so much still to play for and podium positions still very much up in the air, Race 4 is set to be the closest and most compelling race finish of the series so far.

To keep up to date on the latest positions as Race 4 comes to a close, check out the Clipper Race Viewer with its hourly updates and the latest ETA reports from Clipper Race Director Mark Light.

To read the Skipper Blogs in full, or to hear the latest from the crew, visit the Team Pages on the Clipper Race website.

All positions were correct at time of publishing.


Clipperrace Race 4 12.12.2017


A game of risk and reward ahead of huge Southern Ocean depression

A trade-off between speed and safety was playing out among the Volvo Ocean Race fleet on Tuesday as the teams gear up for their first real taste of Southern Ocean brutality.

While the Leg 3 finish line in Melbourne lies some 5,000 nautical miles in front of the teams, it’s what is behind them that is currently consuming them.

A huge depression is forming west of the fleet with winds of up to 60 knots at its centre – and it is moving so fast that the seven Volvo Ocean 65s will not be able to outrun it.

Rather the teams will have to make tough decisions about where to position themselves in relation to the storm, which is set to strike on Thursday.

The toss-up is between risk and reward. A more southerly route will see faster sailing over the next day or so but with it comes the danger of being closer to the centre of the depression.

What’s more, a virtual exclusion zone to keep the fleet north of Antarctica’s ice fields will prevent teams diving below the low to escape its strongest conditions.

On the other hand the northerly option appears safer as it will put the teams further from the storm’s centre, easing the huge pressure on the boat, but it will undoubtedly prove slower.

A split appeared in the pack today, with current leg leader Dongfeng Race Team, MAPFRE, team Akzonobel and Team Brunel choosing to go south, while Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Turn the Tide on Plastic are opting to stay more to the north.

“There’s a certain amount of risk being further south and straight in front of [the depression],” explained Simon Fisher, Vestas‘ navigator.

“If we can be further north and making good progress that would certainly be a more seamanlike way to go about it.”

Knowing when to put the hammer down and when to choose the more conservative option is vital to glory in the Volvo Ocean Race, and Fisher is an expert at these kind of decisions – after all, he guided Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing to victory in the 2014-15 edition.

“It’s going to be an interesting couple of days,” he added. “It’s going to be a fine line between sailing as fast as you can on optimal course versus sailing in a safe place, looking after the boat and not putting yourself somewhere that you can get run over by the low.

“We want to sail as fast as possible but we have to be careful we don’t get into an area of the low pressure where the wind heads, the sea state is terrible and we get pushed against the ice gate.”

Perhaps the only sailor not entirely consumed with thoughts of the impending weather was Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking. The Dutch sailor’s father sadly passed away last week, and his funeral is today.

Bekking, among the race’s most experienced sailors with seven previous editions under his belt, admitted his mind was elsewhere in an emotional dispatch from onboard.

“We knew that it was just matter of time and we agreed beforehand that I would race, but I’m not feeling happy about it,” he wrote.

“The only comfort what I get is that my dad reached a very nice age, the oldest so far in the family history and he had a good life. He always supported my choice to become a professional sailor: just live your life and enjoy it 100 per cent.

“So, even though we are racing hard, today my thoughts are with my old man, who I will miss tremendously.”

Leg 3
Cape Town to Melbourne 12 December 2017
Positions at: 13:00 UTC

DFRT 0.00 0.00 RAC 20.7 107º 16.2 237º 5098.28
MAPF 2.13 0.04 RAC 17.3 116º 16.0 228º 5100.41
AKZO 3.81 0.61 RAC 16.6 116º 14.0 235º 5102.10
TBRU 7.40 1.03 RAC 17.5 122º 16.0 237º 5105.68
VS11 14.11 0.42 RAC 17.9 103º 16.5 232º 5112.39
SHKS 14.15 0.34 RAC 21.6 98º 19.5 234º 5112.43
TTOP 24.53 2.75 RAC 23.3 91º 24.0 234º 5122.81


Clipperrace Race4 12.12.2017

12 DECEMBER 2017

It’s been another busy day for the fleet as teams zigzag north to the Sydney finish line trying to avoid the windholes, with some teams far more fortunate in the game than others.

Qingdao leads the fleet for the third consecutive day and also picked up three extra points after being first across the Scoring Gate. The battle for the lead continues with Visit Seattle, which crossed the gate second to claim two points and has since elected to go into Stealth Mode, and Sanya Serenity Coast which crossed in third place.

Qingdao Skipper Chris Kobusch, who is pushing hard for his team’s first podium finish, says he spent most of yesterday searching for wind, which filled in the late afternoon.

He adds: “With the first wind shift to the west we tacked away from Visit Seattle and managed to gain some miles on them. Enough to stay in front until the Scoring Gate and to score the three extra points. When we crossed the line, Visit Seattle was only four miles behind and Sanya Serenity Coast, back out of Stealth Mode, eight miles.

“Since then we have been sailing upwind (not our greatest strength as it looks and we haven’t quite figured out why yet) and Sanya Serenity Coast is now only 2.5 nuatical miles behind us. Visit Seattle is in Stealth Mode, but I’m sure Nikki and her team are close by as well. So, as it looks it will be a drag race to the finish.”

Whilst we won’t know the team’s precise location until it comes out of Stealth at 1800 UTC, Nikki reports a positive experience saying: “Just gorgeous sailing today… as Phil and I said to each other – we were in our happy place. 15 knots, close reaching with full white sails, a wonderful flat sea, current with us, pointing in the right direction and sun out. Absolutely wonderful.”

PSP Logistics is the latest team to enter Stealth Mode and will next appear on the Race Viewer at 0600 UTC tomorrow. Skipper Matt, who had been creeping up on the leading pack yesterday, explains: “Thankfully we have picked up speed overnight as we decided to head offshore away from the Tasmanian coast. So far that is looking like the right decision as some of the other boats looked to have been struggling.”

Looking ahead, Matt adds: “We have another light wind patch on the way and we are fervently hoping that it won’t last too long, and it affects others more than us! (Sorry everyone!)”

With PSP Logistics and Visit Seattle hidden, its Dare To Lead next, followed by Unicef, with both Skippers reporting a frustrating time trying to make progress and finding the best routes in the light winds. Garmin follows, having elected to take the furthest in-shore route, hugging the west coast of Tasmania, giving it a good view of land and the local wildlife.

The teams most affected by the windholes yesterday, which resulted in some snake like descents down to the depths of the leaderboard are and GREAT Britain, currently occupying the bottom spots.

Skipper Conall Morrison of explains: “Not much wind last night has made for frustrating times. We had previously gotten excited as we approached the stalled fleet from the south, more offshore from Tasmania, hoping for less of a wind shadow. Watching 10 knots of boat speed turning into 2 is tough, but that is sailing.”’s loss turned out to prove a gain however for Liverpool 2018 and Nasdaq, as both teams managed to get on the ladder and overtake, bettering their race hopes.

Despite sailing into their own windhole and getting caught in light winds for 15 hours yesterday, Lance Shepherd, Skipper of Liverpool 2018, in seventh place, says the team managed something to be happy about. He explains: “We came up on them ( last night and crawled our way past at a rip-roaring pace of 3 knots an hour, with all of the crew glued to the Nav Station. We’ve also managed to pull ahead in front of GREAT Britain but I can see that Andy and his team have some slightly faster winds than us and they are hot on our tail.”

The most positive leaderboard progress of the day however, goes to Nasdaq, with Skipper Rob reporting: “After the drama of yesterday’s kitemare, Nasdaq has had a quieter day although equally busy as we try to pick our way through a light and variable patch of wind East of Tasmania.

“Significant changes to wind strength and direction mean lots of trimming and sail changes – we’ve lost count of the number of times the Yankee 1, Staysail and WindSeeker have been hoisted and dropped since we past our race mark ‚Mitchell‘ last night.

“All of that work seems to have paid off, because Nasdaq has come from 30+ nm behind to right back with the little group of, GREAT Britain and Liverpool 2018 (G’day mates) who are all blinking on and off my AIS screen as I type. We’ve also been lucky to have found a patch of South Westerly wind that wasn’t in the forecast at all, but is certainly doing us a favour.”

With further light winds forecasted, the Snakes and Ladders game may well continue as the final stages of Race 4: The Tasman Test plays out. Which teams will win and which will lose are still to be decided! Stay tuned and follow the drag race to the finish!

To read the Skipper Blogs in full, or to hear the latest from the crew, visit the Team Pages on the Clipper Race website.

All positions were correct at time of publishing.


Clipperrace Race4 11.12.2017

11 DECEMBER 2017

It has been a day of contrasts for the fleet on Day 9 of Race 4: The ClipperTelemed+ Tasman Test. After surfing down waves at 20 knots in the Southern Ocean, and rounding Waypoint Mitchell (the race mark that took the fleet South of Tasmania) to head north, the fleet now faces a patch of light winds which is hindering progress towards the Scoring Gate.

With Qingdao, Sanya Serenity Coast and Garmin in Stealth Mode, Visit Seattle holds first place this morning and on board, Skipper Nikki Henderson is getting to grips with the contrasting conditions: “Life onboard couldn’t be further from what it was a day ago – from 20 knot surfs, big winds, spray, rain and clouds to flat calm seas, bright sunshine, barely any wind (naturally again coming from the wrong direction) and about a million sail changes.”

Whist on board Qingdao, Skipper Chris Kobusch explains why the team chose this moment to activate Stealth Mode: “Previous races have shown that the first few boats get stuck in light or no wind and the rest of the fleet sees them on AIS (Automatic Identification System) or the position reports and then sails around those poor guys.

“So, we thought by going into Stealth Mode we might get stuck (which we did for most of the day), but hopefully everyone else behind us is following us into the light patch of wind. Sanya Serenity Coast seemed to have a similar idea and was off the radar shortly after us.”

Unicef is in second place this morning with PSP Logistics in third and Dare To Lead just two nautical miles behind in fourth. Tactics remain at the forefront of the Skippers’ minds with PSP Logistics Skipper, Matt Mitchell, saying: “There could be more tactical decisions coming up as we decide how to play the last few hundred miles.”

Dale Smyth, Skipper of Dare To Lead, adds: “It’s going to be very tricky working clear of this windless area and then an upwind slog to Sydney so the game is far from over.”

In fifth place is GREAT Britain and following in sixth place after rounding Waypoint Mitchell. Conall Morrison, Skipper of, talks about the shift in mindset on board as the team claws up the miles towards the Scoring Gate: “With Waypoint Mitchell out of the way, the focus on board is getting to Sydney.”

On board Liverpool 2018, currently in seventh place, the crew is welcoming the change in conditions and using the calmer sea state to its advantage as they recover from a busy eighth day of racing. On board Nasdaq, currently in eighth, the team continues to work hard to make up some miles on the fleet despite spending some time dealing with a rip in its Code 2 (mediumweight spinnaker) and Skipper Rob Graham commented: “The big lesson learned today is that when stuff happens, you have to find a way to deal with it.”

Looking ahead, the Scoring Gate will offer the next opportunity for teams to score extra race points and it will be interesting to watch which teams decide to head for the Scoring Gate and which decide to press on towards Sydney in hope of reaching some stronger winds which are forecast to help boost them through the Bass Strait.

To keep up to date on the latest positions check out the Clipper Race Viewer with hourly updates. For an idea of when the fleet is expected to cross the Finish Line into Sydney, please see the Estimated Arrival Times on the Clipper Race website, which are subject to change.

The first episode of the Clipper 2017-18 Race’s official documentary series, Race of Their Lives 3, is airing tonight on Sky Sports Arena in the UK. Click here for all episode timings.

To read the Skipper Blogs in full, or to hear the latest from the crew, visit the Team Pages on the Clipper Race website.

All positions were correct at time of publishing.


Clipperrace Race4 10.12.2017

10 DECEMBER 2017

Following a week of close racing in the Southern Ocean, Clipper Race teams are getting more tactical as the race leaders approach Waypoint Mitchell, south of Tasmania, and prepare to head north to Sydney.

The eighth day of Race 4: The ClipperTelemed+ Tasman Test has seen no change at the top of the leaderboard with both of the Chinese teams continuing to lead the pack. Retaining its advantage on the rest of the fleet, Qingdao enjoys its second consecutive day in first place, some thirteen nautical miles ahead of second placed Sanya Serenity Coast.

For Sanya Serenity Coast’s Australian Skipper, Wendy Tuck, approaching the significant race milestone of Waypoint Mitchell is met with mixed feelings, as she says: “The corner [of Tasmania] is getting closer, it will be such a boost to finally hit the home run towards Sydney, the excitement is growing.

“Even though we are looking forward to going north, it’s always a tad sad to be leaving an ocean behind, however there will be enough challenges sailing up along the coasts.”

Visit Seattle holds onto third place despite a challenging day for Skipper Nikki Henderson who, with support from the crew, led repairs to the mainsail after one of the top battens broke. She explains: “The crew hoisted the tri-sail (tiny bullet proof storm mainsail) and we proceeded to sail under it and the Yankee 1 all night in the right direction so it actually didn’t hurt us so much.

“I just have to say how brilliant it was to have such an excellent shore support team. Thank you also Mark (Clipper Race Director) for including Tri-sail training in the Level 4 syllabus – it definitely came in handy that everyone knew exactly how to hoist it.”

Despite little change in the leading positions, places continue to change throughout the rest of the fleet with Unicef now in fourth place, Dare To Lead in fifth and PSP Logistics racing its way up to sixth from ninth place yesterday.

Pleased with progress, PSP Logistics Skipper Matt Mitchell says: “We are really putting some pressure on the guys in front now, the team, including the boat, has been working super hard making sure that we get every ounce of speed out of her.”

Dare To Lead Skipper, Dale Smyth, adds: “The weather on the eastern side of the island [Tasmania] is going to be interesting and the race positions are by no means defined at this stage.

“It feels strange to actually be leaving the Southern Ocean, it has been our constant companion since Punta del Este, Uruguay.“

Towards the back of the fleet, racing remains competitive for Garmin, which has slipped down to seventh from fourth yesterday, GREAT Britain in eighth and Liverpool 2018 in ninth. GREAT Britain Skipper Andy Burns reports: “I am encouraging everyone onboard, including myself, to work as hard as we possibly can to make this happen.” follows in tenth with Nasdaq, which has been struggling to determine which gybe will be most efficient for the Tasman waypoint, in eleventh.

Looking ahead, once teams round Tasmania focus will shift to the Scoring Gate with race points and positions expected to change frequently as tactics amidst the close racing play out up the coast.

According to Simon Rowell, Clipper Race Meteorologist, weather conditions will also begin to change as the fleet rounds Tasmania. He says: “As teams head for the Bass Strait, wind will have dropped off as the middle of the high goes over the fleet. I expect that by Tuesday the fleet will be going upwind, probably all the way to Sydney.”

To keep up to date on the latest positions check out the Clipper Race Viewer with hourly updates.

The first episode of the Clipper 2017-18 Race’s official documentary series, Race of Their Lives 3, is airing tonight and Monday on Sky Sports Arena in the UK. Click here for all episode timings.

To read the Skipper Blogs in full, or to hear the latest from the crew, visit the Team Pages on the Clipper Race website.

All positions were correct at time of publishing.


Clipperrace 09.12.2017

09 DECEMBER 2017

As the close racing continues in the Southern Ocean, the leaderboard positions continue to change with Qingdao retaking the lead on day seven of the The ClipperTelemed+ Tasman Test. With less than 20 nautical miles separating the top three teams, the next 24 hours are set to be just as thrilling as the fleet converges on the race mark at the south of Tasmania before heading north to Sydney.

This follows an excitingly close Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint conclusion yesterday, which saw Sanya Serenity Coast, Visit Seattle and Qingdao claim the bonus points with less than four minutes between their elapsed times.

On Day 7, it is Qingdao which takes the lead but on board the team is highly aware of how close the racing is with Skipper Chris Kobusch reporting: “Since the team sailed into first position everyone is keen to stay there and every time I come on deck, or someone comes to the nav station, the first question is: where is Sanya Serenity Coast? How far are they away?

“It is really exciting racing with all the boats so close together. It is still a long way to go and the slightest mistake can cost you a position or more.”

Currently in second place, Sanya Serenity Coast has been enjoying the fast and furious downwind sailing conditions. Skipper Wendy Tuck said: “We came down south and its windy and fun. This breeze will start easing over the next 24 hours so we are making the most of the surfing, everyone is getting a go on the wheel of fortune and lots of new top speeds are happening.”

Visit Seattle, currently in third having opted for the most southerly route of the podium teams, is already looking ahead to Sydney. But with the race mark to the south of Tasmania signalling that time in the Southern Ocean is nearly over, Skipper Nikki Henderson reflects: “So, the exciting news though is that we ARE nearly at the south of Tasmania. Around a day or so and we will be turning left and turning north. It’s so crazy to think that this is the last Southern Ocean sailing we will be doing. Even stranger to think we will be heading north!“

On board fourth placed Garmin, Skipper Gaetan Thomas is also thinking about the tactics of rounding the southerly mark and the remaining decisions to be made as they route heads north to Sydney saying: “Zigzagging towards Tasmania for our next waypoint called ‘Mitchell’ were things tactically will be very interesting, lots of currents, an option for scoring gate and some light winds to avoid.”

Positions are tight and continue to vary with Unicef slipping to fifth place with GREAT Britain, which moved into sixth, closely crossing its path. Unicef Skipper Bob Beggs said: “The race tempo is exciting with all the yachts cross-tacking each other, one such meeting was with GREAT Britain a couple of hours ago it was good to talk with skipper Andy although he wasn’t keen to share his tactics with me as he headed south trying to reach waypoint Michell south of Tasmania before me.”

Dare To Lead has enjoyed another fast night towards Tasmania moving up to seventh position and managing to keep PSP Logistics, currently ninth, and Liverpool 2018, tenth, at bay. Skipper Dale Smyth said: “Another good fast night towards Tasmania, still trying to decide which gybe is best.

“We hoisted our spinnaker this morning as we are having a little tussle with Liverpool 2018 and had a couple of fast hours. We eventually ran out of space with our ice limit of 45 degrees south and had to gybe north once more.”

PSP Logistics has also been enjoying the fast spinnaker sailing conditions benefiting from a wind shift which, for skipper Matt Mitchell, came as a relief as it meant that PSP Logistics could now point exactly where he wants to go: “We continue to chip away the miles to the guys ahead and we are starting to make good gains…finally!

“With just over 24 hours to the corner it really feels like the fleet has bunched up again meaning it’s still wide open for the section up to Sydney.”

After a tough night with strong gusting winds, choose a more northerly route to avoid some of the strongest winds but in turn sacrificed some leaderboard positions slipping from sixth to eighth place. However, Skipper Conall Morrison is hopeful that the team today will have good conditions and nice speeds back under spinnaker.

For Nasdaq, currently in eleventh place, thoughts have also turned to Tasmania after reaching the milestone of around 1000 nautical miles to go until Sydney.

Simon Rowell, Clipper Race Meteorologist and weather guru, reports that as fleet converges to Tasmania, the conditions are looking good to get around quickly. He added that it is looking very tactical from there on in with what looks to be a very close upwind finish in Sydney.

Which team will round the mark first? Stay tuned to the Clipper Race Viewer, with its hourly position updates, to see how the changing weather conditions will affect the fleet. All positions were correct at time of publishing.

To read the Skipper Blogs in full, or to hear the latest from the crew, visit the Team Pages.