In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, PSP Logistics had much to celebrate yesterday as it found itself a new gear, smashing the golden ‘300 mile in 24 hours’ mark, whilst also setting the new fastest time for the ocean sprint of 18 hours and two minutes.
CV26 GREAT Britain Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Southern Ocean
Skipper Chris Hollis remarked: 'The wind gods smiled down on us as we passed through the Ocean Sprint course, and the crew worked tirelessly, giving it their all to keep us pushed to the max. We blasted through the water, cracking the magical 300 mile mark. There were smiles and high fives all round when we passed it.'
Commenting on the achievement, Clipper Race Founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: '310 miles in 24 hours is the new all-time Clipper Race record, with an average of 12.9 knots. These new Tony Castro designed Clipper 70 yachts really are flyers. Congratulations to Chris Hollis and the crew of PSP Logistics on establishing the record. Will anyone better it in this Leg?'
After two and a half weeks and 4,000 miles of challenging conditions, the distances to finish for the lead three teams were separated by just three miles at the closest point yesterday. A gripping day of match racing saw OneDLL overtake Henri Lloyd, only for Great Britain to later leapfrog both teams, giving it the lead for the first time in this race.
Speaking on their good performance Great Britain skipper Simon Talbot said: 'Now comes the difficult part, consolidation. It is one thing gaining the lead, but it will be a very different task maintaining it. The weather up ahead of us is set to be exceptionally light and fickle, looking set to make the closing stages of this race an absolute nail biter.'
Reflecting on an exciting days sailing, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston added: 'What a fascinating day at sea this has been. It is remarkable that, after 4,000 miles and all the challenges that Mother Nature has thrown at the fleet, it is still this tight between Great Britain, OneDLL, Henri Lloyd and Qingdao who have been in Stealth Mode.'
'With the high pressure ridge of the Great Australian Bight High positioning itself ahead of the fleet, the drama is far from over yet. I certainly won’t be able to take my eyes off the action over these final days as I look forward to seeing all the teams into Albany.'
Team Garmin started their Ocean Sprint at 06:27 UTC. They are the final team to attempt the challenge and will need to average approximately 13 knots if they are to break PSP Logistics’ record.
Suncream and sunglasses are back out as the teams re-enter the warmer climes of the Indian Ocean, though it will feel far from a vacation as pressure builds on skippers to choose the right path through the upcoming low pressure ridge as they race their final miles to Albany.
The chasing pack will be hoping the forecasted light winds slow down the leaders enough to allow them to catch up and capitalise on their misfortune.
At 1300 UTC, Great Britain (624.3 miles to finish) lead the fleet. OneDLL (631.3 miles) are second and Henri Lloyd (639.4 miles) are now third.
Clipper Round the World