Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Stakes high in race 4

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2013-14 - Race 4, day 17
In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, with the first five teams completed, OneDLL lead the Ocean Sprint contest after crossing the lines of longitude between 90 and 95 degrees east, fastest in 19 hours, 41 minutes.

Jamaica Get All Right, Old Pulteney, PSP Logistics, Switzerland, Mission Performance and Derry~Londonderry~Doire are currently attempting to better this, while Team Garmin are approximately 180 miles from the start line.

Teams lower down the leaderboard are well aware of the vital importance of these two bonus points to their overall standings. Commenting on their Ocean Sprint progress so far, Mission Performance skipper Matt Mitchell describes: 'We got a running start, tucking away nearly 80 miles of the 230 mile run in the first six hours! With no sign of anything weather related to slow us down we are feeling confident about this Ocean Sprint.

'In previous sprints there was always that unfortunate wind shift, or the wind dying all together half way through so fingers crossed for this time. A couple of points will come in very handy as we make our bid to climb from the bottom of the overall leaderboard.'

After some incredibly close racing, Great Britain continue their hunt to pass Olly Cotterell and his OneDLL team, with skipper Simon Talbot saying: 'We have now been within a few miles of them for nearly 48 hours and at our closest, were a mere 0.1 mile behind, but try as we might we have not managed to overtake them.

'Obviously we have over 950 miles still to go so the pursuit will continue until we hopefully do, but knowing Olly, he will be working just as hard to keep us at bay, as we are working at overtaking them!'

Whilst the chasing pack, aside from Switzerland which found a wind hole, have reported steady winds and good progress, the forecast for the fleet leaders does not look so bright or breezy.

Eric Holden, Henri Lloyd skipper and former weather forecaster for the Canadian Olympic sailing team knows all too well the complications that could face them in the final stretch as he explains: 'The final thousand miles in to Albany look anything but easy. We are sailing into a ridge of high pressure that extends across our path with no way around it.

'Our only hope is that a new weather system will move in from the west and push this ridge along to the east, as fast or faster than we can sail. Otherwise the front group will sail into the area of no wind and have to watch the fleet sail up to us. That would be a devastating but possible scenario.'

At 1200 UTC, just six miles separate the top three teams. Henri Lloyd, (888.1 miles to finish) continue to lead the fleet. OneDLL (889.3 miles) and Great Britain (894) hold on to third and fourth place respectively.

Clipper Round the World
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