Clipper Yacht Race fleet continues to battle through the Doldrums
by Clipper Ventures on 25 Sep 2013
In the Clipper 13-14 Race, after another frustrating 24 hours of little wind, the 12 strong fleet of competing continue to battle their way through the Doldrums to their destination; Rio de Janeiro.
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As the fleet rapidly approach the Equator thoughts of improved conditions are top on the agenda for the each of the 12 competitors.
The Race Director of the Clipper Race, Justin Taylor and former skipper of 2002 edition of the biennial race explains why the fleet are experiencing so many troubles in the depth of the Doldrums.
'This year the crossing of the Doldrums or the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone) has taken a little longer that it has in previous races. The Doldrums are very unpredictable and it is not unheard of for sailing boats thinking they have broken free of the Doldrums only for the wind to move and totally disappear again.
'As the Clipper Race fleet has sailed south, the ITCZ moved with them. The good news is that the end is in sight. As the yachts break free they may well find that the south east trade winds have been veered to the south or even a bit west of south as the Coriolis Force (deflection of the wind caused by the spinning of the earth) changes sign across the Equator. I suspect that by then they won't care where the wind's from just so long as it's there and reasonably steady.
'The fleet arrival window in Rio remains unaffected by the slow progress through the Doldrums.'
Yesterday Henri Lloyd and OneDLL suspended racing after Henri Lloyd requested assistance from OneDLL after their water maker failed and water needed to be transferred. The transfer was a success and took less than an hour to complete, this manoeuvre is standard practice during training.
Both entries returned to the exact position they suspended racing at before recommencing. OneDLL will be offered redress and the time they lost will be deducted from their elapsed time for coming to the help of a competitor.