Clipper Round the World Race - Dreaded wind hole on the horizon

Race 8 Day 18 - Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2013/2014
Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2013-14 fleet, in the last 24 hours, has made steady progress to the Sarangani waypoint after the forecasted calmer conditions failed to materialise, allowing some of the teams to take full advantage of 25 knots of strong breeze on deck. However, with a dreaded wind hole on the horizon, will the most northerly yachts be able to claw back the lead in race 8?

After battling through fickle winds and cruel currents for thousands of miles, a wind hole looks set to shake up the leaderboard all over again as Mother Nature plays her cruellest card. Decision time now looms for the front runners - will the leaders continue to battle on in the favourable winds, but risk being becalmed in the forecast wind hole? Or will they join the rest of the fleet further north, in hope of finding the north east trade winds? With so much at risk at this stage of the race, skipper of OneDLL Olly Cotterell knows that his lead could soon disappear:

'If the weather goes the right way for them the boats to the north pose a real threat even though they are hundreds of miles to the east of us. If we stop and they get fair conditions as has been shown in previous legs, hundreds of miles is no lead at all so it is all to play for. As it is the northern yachts are making steady gains every schedule on us as they get a more favourable wind direction.'

Both Mission Performance and Team Garmin received a royal visitor in the shape of King Neptune, to anoint the new Shellbacks, as the new crew members crossed the Equator for the very first time. Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance describes his team’s unconventional royal ceremony:

'Over our lunchtime session today Queen Neptuna (round the world crew member Sophie Hetherton) hosted her court to welcome our Pollywogs into her domain and grant them the title of Shellbacks. The forfeits were suitably gross involving the fools halter, last night’s dinner mixed with grey tank water, bilge water, coffee grounds and pancake mix, as well as a good flouring for good measure. Everybody held themselves with great aplomb and earned their new title!'

All positions reported as at the time of writing and are changing frequently.

POSITION / TEAM

DTL

1

One DLL

0NM

2

GREAT Britain

56NM

3

Derry~Londonderry~Doire

21NM

4

Old Pulteney

31NM

5

Henri Lloyd

154NM

6

Switzerland

86NM

7

Qingdao

301NM

8

PSP Logistics

154NM

9

Jamaica Get All Right

306NM

10

Team Garmin

320NM

11

Invest Africa

332NM

12

Mission Performance

466NM

Normal021falsefalsefalseESX-NONEX-NONE/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}
http://www.sail-world.com/118861