At the Clipper Round The World Yatch Race, in the last 24 hours the interchangeable conditions of dreaded Doldrums have shaken up the leader board once again, with Great Britain currently claiming first place in the race to Rio.
Derek Brown keeps an eye out for squalls in the ITCZ.
Overnight Great Britain has climbed into first place, just seven miles ahead of second place Derry~Londonderry~Doire who yesterday played it’s Stealth Mode card eager to claw back its place as leader of the pack. With Mission Performance momentarily taking the lead yesterday, the team who are currently in third place are now just three miles short of the Northern Irish entry.
The unpredictable nature of the Doldrums has bought much frustration to the fleet as they desperately try to make the best of the non-existent wind which reportedly left OneDLL ‘parked up’; however, the changeable conditions have also provided the fleet with the perfect opportunity to practice key manoeuvres . Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance describes the relentless repetition of the past 24 hours:
'The last 24 hours have been the most frustrating I have had in many months, even years! The wind has been almost non-existent.
'The wind would sit from the south west at four knots, we would watch it for 15 minutes or so, yep, nice and steady, ok let’s gybe says I. Perfect light wind gybe by the team (where we change which side of the boat the sails are on by passing the stern of the boat through the wind), then low and behold, wind shift to 175, damnation says I. So we sit and watch for 15 minutes, and it seems to be steady there, lets gybe back, we'll be able to get a good angle now.'
In the last 24 hours Old Pulteney has activated its Stealth Mode. Its position in the fleet was last broadcast yesterday 1200UTC and will be hidden from the yachts and the public until today at 1200 UTC.