Following a terrifyingly close race start to Race 5 in the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race, the fleet continues to put on one of the most competitive shows to date as each of the 12 teams battle to extend its lead in the overall race standings.
After a disastrous start to Race 5 for PSP Logistics and Great Britain who after colliding at the start line returned to port for a full damage assessment, were back racing within 24 hours. With both teams signed off fit to sail, two of the strongest contenders in the race had left an open gap, ready for the rest of fleet to exploit.
With OneDLL taking the lead from the start, and with just six points separating the team from Great Britain on the overall leaderboard, the Dutch entry showed no remorse as it headed straight for the Scoring Gate. With 3, 2, 1 points respectively up for grabs it wasn’t an uncontested run, as just seven minutes separated Derry~Londonderry~Doire in second and third place Henri Lloyd, as the OneDLL stormed to victory securing three points.
However, with so much at stake OneDLL were unable to maintain its lead succumbing to the pressures of the northern Irish entry, Derry~Londonderry~Doire on day five and currently leads the race. Skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire said at the time: 'We've also been battling for every small gain we can get on OneDLL and Henri Lloyd not to mention the chasing pack that is hot on our heels.
'We have been busy moving down through the gears as the wind increased with reefs and headsail changes, all of which take time and energy.'
With a low pressure system failing to deliver the 60 knots as expected on day five, the fleet is showing signs of becoming well trained, efficient crew, capable of managing the gale force 9 conditions without concern. With Derry~Londonderry~Doire the first entry across the line for the Ocean Sprint today, the race to gain valuable extra points ahead of the fleet’s arrival into Sydney continues.
As the fleet begin to round the most southerly part of Tasmania, the next decision to make is which side to leave the island. Either leave it to port or head further south to stay in the more reliable winds or risk the Bass Strait.
The next stage of the race will be an upwind beat against the oceanic current running down the east coast of Australia. With a tough end to a tough race predicted, the race is still far from being decided.
The fleet is expected to arrive in Sydney between December 12-14.
by Ruth Harrington
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6:08 PM Tue 10 Dec 2013GMT
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