Schlagwortarchiv für: Clipperrace

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Clipperrace 24.08.2017

RACE 1 DAY 4: THE PRE-DOLDRUM DOLDRUMS
24 AUGUST 2017

Light winds continue to challenge during the fourth day of racing, which have caused the fleet to condense by 20 nautical miles in the last 24 hours in the Bay of Biscay.

Andy Burns, Skipper of GREAT Britain, currently in sixth place, reports that the light weather conditions bring with them real lessons of light wind sailing which will be valuable later on in the race.

Andy reports: “The Doldrums have come early!!! Or so it feels without the heat.

“We have moved a grand total of about five nautical miles in the last three hours. It is, however, teaching the crew the importance of concentration even in light airs and the gains that can be made and gaps that can be opened.”\

Nikki Henderson, Skipper of Visit Seattle, and her crew have been working hard to maintain third position “After a night of not much sleep whilst trying to keep the boat moving along even at one knot, I’m really hoping the wind gods blow in our favour soon!“

There are now just 72 nautical miles standing between Unicef, which is holding onto first place by two nautical miles, and twelfth placed Greenings which maintain its westerly course.

Whilst the four leaders; Unicef, Sanya Serenity Coast, Visit Seattle and Dare to Lead have maintained their respective positions, Qingdao has started to break away from the middle of the pack and currently sits just nine nautical miles behind fourth place.

Dale Smyth, Skipper of fourth placed Dare To Lead, comments: “The race is currently very tactical and barely able to keep the boat moving at times.

“All are well onboard and in good spirits. The competition keeps us on our toes all day and night”

Greenings has now completed exactly 7.1% of Leg 1, and although currently sitting in twelfth place, Skipper David Hartshorn is confident in his westerly routing tactic.

David explains: “I am very aware that there is a ridge of high pressure pushing east towards the Bay of Biscay, that is likely to develop into a wind hole preventing further positive direction south, so we are preparing to go west were we need to be.”

Looking ahead, teams are hoping for some increased windspeed and a smooth transition into the trades when they reach the Portuguese coast.

Gaetan Thomas, Skipper of sixth place Garmin, notes: „It is funny to see the fleet coming back together as the wind died from the front to the back, the lucky ones are the boat at the back I guess. In French, we call that the accordion effect. The first ones to get out of the hole will have a chance to fly away, maybe for good, until the equator.“

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

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Clipperrace 23.08.2017

RACE 1 DAY 3: TACKLING THE BAY OF BISCAY
23 AUGUST 2017

As the fleet makes steady progress south past the UK and towards Northern France, Skippers and crew are focusing on the next challenge; the Bay of Biscay, notorious for violent storms and heavy seas.

Skipper of second placed Sanya Serenity Coast, Wendy Tuck, reports: “This morning we wake to a breeze still on the nose and we are about to start our passage across the Bay of Biscay.

“At the moment, it is being kind to us, but it does have a bit of a reputation of not being very nice.”

Ahead of the fleet, the weather is changing somewhat. A new low moving southeast across the race track should reach the Portuguese coast by the weekend. Whilst it does not look particularly strong, it will provide several tactical options for the twelve teams.

Over the last 24 hours, positions continued to change on the leader board and 98 nautical miles now separates first placed Unicef from Greenings, in twelfth place, who selected a more westerly route as it entered the Celtic Sea yesterday.

The front four leaders, who broke away with the strong flowing tides in the Irish Sea, remain close, with 18 nautical miles separating Unicef, Sanya Serenity Coast, Visit Seattle and Dare To Lead.

Skipper Nikki Henderson, on third placed Visit Seattle, said: “Well, the conclusion of the last 24 hours is that Wendo and Bob are really, really good at making their boats move approximately 1 knot faster than us.

“Definitely a frustrating night, but that’s racing for you!”

Not taking his lead for granted, Unicef Skipper, Bob Beggs, reports: “On the AIS we have a constant reminder of the competition with Visit Seattle, Sanya Serenity Coast and Dare To Lead helping to keep our competitive juices flowing.”

And the competitive spirit is very much present further down the fleet.

HotelPlanner.com and Liverpool 2018, in tenth and eleventh place respectively, are jostling for position and are “currently yo-yoing” according to the latter’s Skipper, Lance Shepherd.

Gaëtan Thomas, Skipper of Garmin, currently in seventh place said: “We are trying to catch up boat by boat, now we are nearly up with Qingdao and Nasdaq.”

Meanwhile, Rob Graham, Skipper of Nasdaq, says: “Our focus is on chasing down Dare To Lead, Visit Seattle, and Sanya Serenity Coast, whilst staying ahead of the group chasing us.”

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

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Clipperrace 22.08.2017

RACE 1 DAY 1: STRONG TIDES DIVIDE FLEET
22 AUGUST 2017

Strong tides running North have divided the fleet tactically overnight, with the front of the pack heading close inshore to seek faster routes.

Dale Smyth, Skipper of third placed team Dare To Lead, reported: “It was an interesting night with the front of the pack all deciding to head close inshore to Wales in order to escape the north flowing tide.”

The gap between first and last place has widened over the last 24 hours, with 68 nautical miles separating the teams and a group of four teams pulling away from the pack. At the top of the leader board is Unicef which has crept four nautical miles ahead of Visit Seattle this morning despite sitting in second place overnight.

Dare To Lead and Sanya Serenity Coast are just two nautical miles behind and with the top four still in eyesight of each other, it is a closely fought battle as the teams head towards Northern France.

Dale Smyth added: “The front four leaders all made a break away as the tide reversed.”

Despite fickle winds dominating the second day of racing for the Clipper Race fleet, good progress has been made as teams reach their first milestone of the race; bidding farewell to the Irish Sea until July 2018.

Roy Taylor, Skipper of PSP Logistics, currently in seventh position, reports: “At last we have broken free of the Irish sea and put it to our transom for a year.

“We are now making good progress towards the south west to intercept the westerlies that will give us a good passage across Biscay.”

For the HotelPlanner.com team, however, tactical lessons were learnt as the front of the fleet pulled away. Skipper Conall Morrison reported: “Conditions in the Irish sea have been changeable so far and I’m pleased that we are now rounding St David’s Head in North Wales.

„In retrospect, I’m not sure that we have made the best tactical decisions, however each one remains a learning point. Onwards and upwards!”

The changeable conditions faced by the fleet mean that frequent sail changes are still required which is physically demanding for crew.

Crew members on board Greenings have had a busy night with the most sail changes of the fleet. In his report today, Skipper David Hartshorn said: “An interesting few watches have passed. We have gone from our lightweight kite (Code 1) to Windseeker. From Windseeker, we went to Yankee 1 this afternoon and changed down to Yankee 2.

“It cost us a place but there needs to be a special mention to Charlotte Hauser, our lead bow crew member, who doesn’t stop giving 100% or laughing. She is currently sporting a ‘headsail change hairdo’. Not sure it will catch on!”

Overnight, some teams were rewarded for their persistence when encountering a pod of dolphins swimming amongst phosphorescent plankton, creating one of nature’s most mesmerising light shows. Leg 1, the Atlantic Trade Winds Leg is 6,400nm long, the equivalent of ten Fastnet Races, and this morning, Skipper David Hartshorn was noting that they were just 1.7% of the way through the journey.

For the Clipper Race Skippers, embarking on the longest ever leg of the Clipper Race, a settled crew has provided chance to think about the adventure ahead.

Wendy Tuck, Skipper of Sanya Serenity Coast notes: I’m happy to be back out to sea, but sometimes it does seem a bit surreal that our next land fall will be Punta Del Este, Uruguay…”

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

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Clipperrace 21.08.2017

RACE 1 DAY 1: SETTLING IN
21 AUGUST 2017

Following an adrenaline filled start to the Clipper 2017-18 Race, with big crowds and international media turning out to see the twelve teams and 247 crew members on their way for Leg 1 to Punta del Esta, the largest race edition yet, and the competition for race standings is now well underway.

With less than 20 nautical miles separating the fleet between first and twelfth place, positions are expected to change regularly over the next 24 hours.

Reflecting on Race Start, Nikki Henderson, Skipper of Visit Seattle who have just slipped behind Unicef with only 0.06nm between them, said: “Now I can confidently report that starting a 6400NM race in the River Mersey on a Clipper70 yacht with 22 people on board is no mean feat!”

Once clear of the River Mersey, teams began to progress towards the Irish sea, but changeable and fickle wind conditions teamed with close proximity racing overnight made for a tiring night with regular sail changes and movement of leader board positions.

Conall Morrison, Skipper of HotelPlanner.com, has made great ground and spent most of the night in the middle of the fleet after an initially slow start out of the blocks. He reports: “We are somewhere in the middle of the fleet which makes it interesting at night when someone tacks or gybes, but it is nice for the crew to get the chance to do so many evolutions early on.”

One team looking at the lack of wind in a positive way is third placed Sanya Serenity Coast. In her first race report, Skipper Wendy Tuck said: “The good thing about not being too windy means all crew are fine with no sea sickness – yippee!”

Although initially holding a top position in the fleet, Garmin slipped back in the rankings and is currently in eleventh place. The team’s Skipper Gaetan Thomas explains: “We were quickly leading the fleet but I totally forgot about the last virtual mark and we had to come back and leave it to port, slipping from first to nearly last now. It is painful but I am the only one to blame.”

Another team currently striving to make up lost ground is Qingdao. Skipper Chris Kobusch explains: “The Qingdao crew threw in some flawless tacks and sailed us into second position until a tactical error from my side put us into the shallow edges of the river mouth and outside the tide.

“We lost a few positions, but managed to climb the ladder again once we hoisted the Windseeker.”

The crew of Liverpool 2018 are in high spirits considering their twelfth-place position (0900 BST). Lance Shepherd commented: “There is a long way to go so we are not worried about positions at this stage.

“We are making sure everything is being done safely and correctly – then we can start to push for performance.”

With teams settling into watch systems, they have had a chance to reflect on the momentous Liverpool start, which marked a special moment in their Clipper Race journey.

Skipper Roy Taylor, PSP Logistics, said: “It was a great departure from Liverpool and fantastic to see so many of the team and supporters down to see us off (or just to make sure we actually departed!)”.

Dale Smyth, Skipper of Dare To Lead in fourth place said: “Thank you to the team that made such an amazing and smooth departure, there are too many to name here but you all are fantastic!!!!!”

Nikki Henderson added: “I found myself wishing I could have seen it from your view … for about 10 seconds until I remembered the awesome adventure that lies ahead – lucky us!”

But the most reflective of all was Greenings team Skipper Dave Hartshorn: “A big thank you to Andrew Greening, his family and his team for the incredible support they have displayed during our preparation. They all demonstrated their mission statement of values through people. The crew feel very valued by our team partner.

“The biggest thank you goes out to you, our family and friends, who have supported us in getting this far. We all truly appreciate the support you have given us and understand the personal sacrifice you are making while we all go and live our dream.

“Without you, we would just not be able to do it, so thank you.”

GREAT Britain, currently in tenth position, is the first ever Clipper Race team to play the Joker Card, a new single-use tactical move introduced for the 2017-18 race edition which doubles accrued points for one selected race.

Explaining the team’s decision to use the Joker Card on the first Leg, Skipper Andy Burns said: “We decided to play our Joker Card early on as anything above sixth place will put GREAT Britain on top of the leader board and that will give us a great psychological edge for the rest of the race.”

Follow the fleet’s progress the Race Viewer as the teams move through the Irish Sea and head to towards the Atlantic Ocean.

(Please note all positions were correct at time of sending, for the latest positions visit the Race Viewer)