Jamaica leads Hull & Humber in Clipper race

Liverpool 08 bag one of their headsails - Clipper 07-08

The fleet has split into two distinct groups as the teams choose different ways to navigate around the Indonesian Island of Bunguran. The eastern group, currently being led by Jamaica, also includes Qingdao, Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper and Uniquely Singapore. Despite this easterly position they are also around 50 nautical miles further south than the other group.

Skipper Mark Preedy on Uniquely Singapore: “We took a tactical decision yesterday to go south of Bunguran Island. It was slightly forced upon us as the wind was north by west and we were heading straight for the middle of the island. The crew take a pride that we are different from the rest so there was some disappointment that we saw Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper and Qingdao doing the same.”

Their decision to head around the south side of Bunguran may prove costly over the next few days as the northerly winds that have been forecast could prevent them from making good progress towards Qingdao.

Hull & Humber is currently leading the group further north, although both New York and Liverpool 08 are hot on their heels. Skipper Ben Galloway on Liverpool 08 is focussed on catching their rivals from the east coast of England: “New York is just off to starboard and we are keeping a close eye on their every move, however we are eager to get Hull & Humber in our sights.”

Despite the current predictions that the wind will shift to a more northerly direction, the entire fleet has made good progress north over the last 12 hours with the wind coming from a more favourable easterly direction.

westernaustralia2011.com has managed to pull back and catch up with the western group and reduce their deficit over the leading boats. This is a big achievement as it is very hard to pull back miles when sailing upwind in identical boats. Skipper Martin Silk is clearly relieved that they have caught up: “It’s great to be in touch with the fleet, a result of having some lucky wind shifts and some consistent winds. We’re still banking on a northerly shift later and we’re hugging the rhumb line with optimism. It’s safe to say that Team Western Australia is completely focussed on reducing
the lead of those around us.”

Overall race leader Durban 2010 and Beyond has had a bad 24 hours, falling down to ninth place overnight due to a tactical decision made two days ago. Onboard skipper Ricky Chalmers reflected on the decision: “Well that plan
backfired spectacularly. We have fallen down the leader board somewhat and are now in the ignominious position of fighting for tenth place with westernaustralia2011.com - who can be seen on the horizon behind us. Far from being in a good place with the wind from the north, the wind is from the east and we are in a bad place. As the Race Director often says ‘the quicker you fall behind, the longer you have to catch up!’”

Race Director Joff Bailey: “With only 26 nautical miles splitting the fleet and 2,200 nautical miles remaining to the finish it is still early days in this race with many more changes expected on the leader board.”


POSITIONS AT 0600 GMT 30 JANUARY 2008

Jamaica: DTF 2183
Hull & Humber: DTF 2188, DTL +5
New York: DTF 2195, DTL +12
Liverpool 08: DTF 2196, DTL +13
Qingdao: DTF 2198, DTL +15
Glasgow: Scotland with style: DTF 2200, DTL +17
Uniquely Singapore: DTF 2204, DTL +21
Durban 2010 and Beyond: DTF 2207, DTL +24
Nova Scotia: DTF 2209, DTL +26
westernaustralia2011.com: DTF 2209, DTL +26

(DTF = Distance To Finish, DTL = Distance to Leader)

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