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sail-world.com -- Clipper Yacht Race - Leaderboard shaken as teams escape the Doldrums

Clipper Yacht Race - Leaderboard shaken as teams escape the Doldrums    
Fri, 27 Sep 2013

In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, with Jamaica Get All Right, Qingdao and PSP Logistics making much better speed having headed east and climbing up the leaderboard, things are beginning to look up for some of the teams.

Jamaica Get All Right is currently in Stealth Mode, and will reappear in the rankings at midnight tonight.

Henri Lloyd is currently leading the fleet, PSP Logistics has leapt up to third place from eight yesterday and Qingdao has gone into second place from fifth yesterday.

With the other boats still feeling the frustrations of the Doldrums, Henri Lloyd skipper Eric Holden, a Weather Forecaster for the Canadian sailing team at the London 2012 Olympics, says this has been the slowest passage he could have foreseen after many years studying the Doldrums.

He gives some background on the weather phenomenon.

'The tropical wave activity moving off Africa has been relentless. It started with the development of Hurricane Humberto, itself a very rare event for a hurricane to form so far east, and has continued almost unabated ever since.

'It is actually quite hard to define where the Doldrums commenced as we were experiencing Doldrum-like conditions since the Cape Verde Islands, which at 17 degrees north and over 700 miles to the north, could not be classified as the Doldrums. The Doldrums typically move south this time of year following the change in seasons, however we seem to have entered it at its most northerly range and will exit it near its most southerly.

'The Doldrums are very changeable and large thunderstorms can quickly develop where moments ago it was clear skies, so strategy-wise the single satellite picture and weather file we get a day is really of minimal assistance and our strategy since the Cape Verde Islands has been to get south as directly as possible and not chase the fictitious wind indicated by the computer models. Although fascinated by the phenomenon I can honestly say I have seen enough of it for this trip.'

Meanwhile, there have been some energetic wildlife displays with several species of dolphin spotted by various crews, including the rarely-seen Risso’s dolphin of which little is known about.

by Clipper Ventures



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