In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, Leg 6/Race 10 has restarted after fog required the fleet, which left China on Sunday, to motor-sail until conditions improved this morning.
The fog lifted enough by first light this morning allowing teams to officially start the 5,600 mile race from Qingdao to San Francisco, USA.
Henri Lloyd skipper Eric Holden organised a Le Mans start which took place at 08:50 local time (0050 UTC).
After a clean start, the fleet is currently passing beneath South Korea, just under 300 miles from the waypoint beneath Sata Misaki lighthouse on the southern tip of mainland Japan.
Derry~Londonderry~Doire, and Old Pulteney currently lead the pack, just one mile ahead of Invest Africa and Jamaica Get All Right.
As the fleet turns north along the Japanese coastline, the Kuroshio Current or ‘Black Current’ (a strong north flowing current that appears a deeper blue than the sea through which it flows) will bring stronger, northerly winds, expected to both propel and challenge the teams as they approach the North Pacific Ocean.
Race 10 includes an Ocean Sprint and Scoring Gate, allowing teams the chance to pick up bonus points along the course. All teams will also be entitled to two periods of Stealth Mode – once activated, that particular yachts position will be hidden from the Race Viewer for 24 hours for attempted tactical gain.
PSP Logistics set off for the revised start line for Leg 6, Race 10 this morning.
PSP Logistics only arrived on Saturday afternoon after several setbacks which led to its retirement, and was given additional time to more fully prepare the boat and crew to take on the ‘Mighty Pacific’. Despite starting behind the other teams the yacht will be measured on an elapsed time basis.
Skipper Chris Hollis is convinced his team can give the rest of the fleet a run for their money: 'It’s very similar to when we left Albany (Race 5), when we started 36 hours behind the fleet, yet closed in to finish fourth fastest.
'The psychology makes it a little harder to race because you don’t have a boat next to you, but we will set our own gates to achieve time targets and race weather windows. In some respects you can focus more on yourself and the boat because you’re not so worried about ‘why am I going slower than them’.
'We’re all looking forward to this trip, I know I am; it’s going to be one of the biggest challenges in this edition of the Clipper Race, although we’ve already survived some pretty harsh conditions on previous legs. This is the big one, and we’re ready for it,' added Chris.
PSP Logistics is now motor-sailing to the new start line approximately 260 nautical miles offshore where its elapsed time will start. In order to give some sense of how well they are faring against the rest of the fleet, the Clipper Race Office will compare the distance to finish 24 hours after race start for both the main fleet and then for PSP Logistics; this will provide a like-for-like comparison of their respective progress after the first 24 hours racing and then daily after that.
The Scoring Gate will provide the first elapsed time measure to give PSP Logistics an opportunity to compete for the bonus points on offer (three points for the fastest time to the scoring gate, two points for second and one point for third fastest).
The final race result into San Francisco will be on the same elapsed time basis with the fastest boat taking 12 points, not necessarily the first to cross the line, and on a descending scale to the last boat taking just one point.
As PSP Logistics headed east from the Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, the vital maintenance and branding containers, one of two sets that team partner and official supplier PSP Logistics manages highly effectively to ensure they are shipped around the world ahead of the race, were being readied for their return to the UK; a second set is already heading to San Francisco ready for the completion of Race 10 anticipated to cross the finish line under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge between 8-12 April. Clipper Round the World