In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, as the clothing layers and miles to finish continue to be shed, a tactical shift by Great Britain towards the rhumb line has seen the team take the lead in race 11.
Team Garmin is now neck and neck with Derry~Londonderry~Doire in second place as the sprint to the Scoring Gate shapes up, and after racing over 1,000 miles in Race 11- The PSP Logistics Panama 100 Cup, just 50 miles now separate the entire fleet.
In the last 24 hours Derry~Londonderry~Doire chose to gybe south with OneDLL, as Invest Africa has chosen the same tactic, in hot pursuit of the Northern Irish entry. Great Britain’s gamble to head east paid off, resulting in Derry~Londonderry~Doire skipper Sean McCarter describing the team as, 'all but unbeatable' as they battle to claim the maximum Scoring Gate bonus points rumbles on.
Despite the praise, Great Britain skipper Simon Talbot and his team remain on tenterhooks, desperate to be the first to the Scoring Gate: 'As ever, the final say will very much be down to the wind gods, Derry~Londonderry~Doire, Invest Africa, OneDLL and Jamaica Get All Right are all very close together and in need of a left hand shift to be assured of making the gate before us. We are most definitely in need of a right hand shift to be assured of the same, whilst Old Pulteney sit in between and could benefit if neither shift really happens.
'At the last schedule, nearly six hours ago now, all six of us were within five miles of each other in terms of distance to the Scoring Gate, so with the right wind, any of us can make it and with the wrong wind, any of us could be sixth through the gate, now perhaps you understand the root cause of our tension.'
Eric Holden, skipper of Henri Lloyd has had a taste of the amount of international shipping trade that the Panama Canal is now so famous for, and he commented:
'We have seen a few cargo ships along the coast, but suddenly as I come down to the navigation station to write this blog, the computer screen is filled with shipping. This must be the beginning of the traffic between Panama and Asia. I always find it interesting to click on the targets to find out what port they are heading towards. Some are new ports I have never heard of, while many vessels are heading to the same port, indicating where much of the world’s commerce flows through.'
In other news Switzerland has activated its Stealth Mode, meaning the team’s position will be hidden from the Race Viewer and the rest of the fleet for a period of 24 hours and will be published again tomorrow at 12:00 UTC. Clipper Round the World