Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Clipper Round the World - Wind holes bring mixed emotions for fleet

by Clipper Ventures on 10 Nov 2013
Crewmates on CV24 help each other as they attempt to fix a reefing line. Clipper Ventures PLC © . http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com
At the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the strong west-to-east wind currents of the Roaring Forties grew infamous for providing major speed boosts to trade ships sailing to Australasia during the Age of Sail, between the 16th and mid-19th century. However, for the past 24 hours at least, history has not provided the same fortune for the Clipper 2013-14 Race fleet.

In a real contrast of recent conditions, the lashing winds gave way completely at times yesterday, slowing progress drastically for many of the fleet who found themselves caught in wind holes which required multiple sail changes, causing a couple of skippers to reference Race two’s dreaded ‘D’ word, the Doldrums.

Opinion on the light conditions has been divided between the skippers. Simon Talbot of GREAT Britain welcomed the lull, saying, 'I cannot say that either the crew or I were disappointed. With the promise of more strong wind to come, a day of relative peace and quiet in the Southern Ocean is just what the doctor ordered, giving us a proper chance to tidy up the boat and carry out running repairs after the preceding few days frenetic sailing.

In contrast, Henri Lloyd skipper, Eric Holden sounded more frustrated as he explained: 'It has not been a kind 24 hours as we slowly tried to extricate ourselves from the wind hole to the north. We made a big and costly dive south to try and find wind and ended up doing about half the miles of everyone else. The albatross gliding gracefully around the boat were mocking us as we bobbed around like a cork. What a contrast to the previous 48 hours of exhilarating surfing down mountainous waves, smashing our previous speed record.'

The only weather guarantee right now is that nothing is predictable, with forecasts being summarised as ‘complicated.’ The lull does appear to be short lived however, with another small energetic low pressure system moving in, already bringing strengthening winds overnight to around 25 knots, expected to continue to strengthen today.

One thing is clear however, skippers are analysing their weather sources very closely right now to select their best northerly, central or southerly routes as they all try to seek out the best winds.

At 1000 UTC, the current standings see no change in the leader board for Race four, otherwise known as the Kinjarling Cup. Qingdao continue to lead the fleet (3408.2 miles to finish) with Henri Lloyd in second place (3533.5) and OneDLL (3536.6) right on their coat tails in third.

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
North Technology - Southern SparsNaiad/Oracle SupplierKilwell - 6