News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Slow progress in light conditions

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Slow progress in light conditions

'Gold Coast Australia - Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2011-12'    Clipper Round The World Yacht Race

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2011-12 fourth race from Cape Town, Africa to Geraldton, Western Australia is currently underway.

Gold Coast Australia, the first team to commence the Ocean Sprint, has reported slow progress in light, fluky winds as the massive high pressure system lingers over the fleet.

Richard Hewson and his team crossed the start point at 90 degrees east at 1348 UTC yesterday. They have yet to reach the finish at 95 degrees east, at which point their elapsed time for covering the distance will be calculated.

'This Ocean Sprint is more of a crawl as the lingering high pressure system slowly overtakes our position bringing with it light shifty winds from the west,' he said.

Richard reports that his team hoisted their lightweight spinnaker at first light but as the wind had dropped they have struggled to keep it filled.

'Not only are the lighter winds slowing down our progress, but we are also making a 1000-mile detour around the high pressure system to ensure we are not becalmed for the next week,' he explained.

However, the high pressure system is bringing with it some welcome rays of sunshine and warmth. 'The lighter winds have bought with them warmer weather and even the odd glimpse of sunshine, which is being thoroughly enjoyed by the crew,' Richard said.

The fastest team to cover the distance between 90 and 95 degrees east will receive a bonus point, and with the contest judged on elapsed time rather than position relative to the rest of the fleet, any of the ten teams is in with a chance of securing the extra point.

On De Lage Landen, skipper Stuart Jackson reports that his team has also encountered the lighter winds as they approach the start of the Ocean Sprint.

'This massive high will deal its cards to all the teams, but it remains to be seen how each will play its hand,' Stuart said.

Stuart said he suspects this will be one of the most tactically interesting races of the year-long series around the world.

'We placed our bets so as to protect our position relative to the eight teams behind us, and will be working hard to maintain the best possible speeds under tricky conditions as we traverse the high pressure zone,' he said.

New York has opted to go into Stealth Mode, and the team’s position will not be reported until midnight tonight. Meanwhile, skipper Gareth Glover reports a setback after his one functioning spinnaker pole bent after shooting forward when the guy line securing it slipped.

'As we were already working with only one pole, after the incident we were down to none. We sent a quick email back to the Race Office this morning and were granted permission to make one good pole from our two broken poles,' he said.

'So our saloon has been turned into a workshop with our medium weight kite on one side that the team of repairers has already put in over 20 hours of work into and still has another ten hours to do before we can re-hoist. Then we’ve got the two eight-metre poles in there which run from the bow to the stern as it was too dark to cut and re-drill them overnight,' Gareth explained.

He added that New York will have a new pole and kite back in working order in the next 12 hours in time for when the high pressure system passes. 'Then we’ll be back into full racing mode and making our way to Geraldton and, hopefully, a top three finish,' Gareth said.

Geraldton Western Australia and Qingdao are in a close duel for fifth place, and are currently neck-to neck with the same distance to the finish.

Juan Coetzer on Geraldton Western Australia reports that it has been 'a tough day at the office' with very little wind. He said his team had struggled to log any distance in any direction as they ghosted along under their kite.

'There were times when the breeze would fill and the helm would follow it, but unfortunately it sometimes took us on a heading back to Cape Town,' Juan said.

'The next tactical dilemma is trying to work out how we are going to play the Ocean Sprint, in relation to making a good course towards our home port,' he added.

Qingdao in the Parade of Sail in Cape Town, South Africa, at the start of Race 4 - Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race -  Bruce Sutherland/onEdition  

On Qingdao, skipper Ian Conchie is relieved to report that he his team has had a 'quiet 24 hours' after their recent dramas including a major kite wrap and an incident when a crew member descending from the rig crashed into the skipper on deck.

'We pushed as far east as we could in the dying breeze under the spinnaker yesterday and spent the night trying to keep the boat moving under full main and Yankee 1,' Ian said.

'This did mean constant changes of course and trim to try and maximise our speed. Our course varied hugely and when the helm lost concentration we even ended up heading west, if only briefly,' he said.

As the wind started to fill in from the north this morning, Ian said he had been mulling when to start heading north for the finish line in Geraldton. Over the next days it will become clear how long each skipper is going to wait before making the crucial turn, and they will all be watching each other closely to see who is going to strike out for the finish line first.

Ben Bowley on Singapore said he had decided to take the Great Circle route from their current position to Geraldton.

Upon closer inspection of their damaged heavyweight spinnaker, affectionately known as Sticky Vicky due to the amount of repair tape used in previous repairs, substantial damage to the reinforced areas of the sail has been identified. 'This is rather bad news as the sewing machine aboard is likely to turn its nose up at having to stitch through five or more layers of heavy fabric,' Ben said.

On a more positive note, Ben reports that his lightweight is almost ready for a trial hoist when conditions permit and the medium weight is now only in two pieces rather than five.

This is good news for Ben as he said he is sure that the final stages of the race will require some kind of downwind sail for the run up the west coast of Australia.

For the moment, the Singapore team is relived that to be sailing upwind as they skirt the edge of the high pressure system despite the more difficult living conditions, as on that point of sail they are not handicapped by their lack of functioning spinnakers.

'We will have some more tricky routing decisions to make in a few days based on watching the trends in the forecasts but at least it should start to get warmer,' Ben said.

Gordon Reid reports a 'frustrating and challenging' 24 hours on Edinburgh Inspiring Capital in unstable conditions.

'The wind has started to play a little bit with us, one moment it's gusting up to 30 knots the next it dies off completely but as dawn broke here on the wild Southern Ocean, the wind has started to settle and we are making good progress towards Geraldton,' he said.

'Over the next few days there are some significant tactical decisions to be made by the all of the teams as they tackle the high that threatens to stall the final push towards the finish line,' he added.

'There are only a few options, each having advantages and disadvantages in speed and progress. Only a strong nerve and time will tell who has made the right call,' Gordon said.

Like all the skippers, Gordon is keeping a very close eye on the weather, and closely studying the information compiled by meteorologist Simon Rowell and distributed to the fleet on a daily basis.

'Although we are currently in the upwind scenario and heeling at 25 degrees, as the wind comes round, we should not only improve our course and speed, but it will also be more comfortable for those down below moving around and preparing food,' Gordon said.

'As we start to flatten out a bit, more jobs can be undertaken en route allowing us to make the most of Western Australia when we arrive. For now the Purple Beastie continues to ride the ocean waves in what is becoming a fascinating battle to the finish line,' he added.

Derry-Londonderry races from Cape Town, South Africa, at the start of Race 4 - Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race -  Bruce Sutherland/onEdition  

Derry-Londonderry has chosen to don the invisibility shield for 24 hours, a tactic which each team can employ once in each race, and will remain in Stealth Mode until midnight tonight. Only then will it emerge whether Mark Light and his team have gained or suffered due to their northerly position.

On Visit Finland, skipper Olly Osborne reports that yesterday was the first time during this race that the sea was not streaked with white caps and the familiar rolling swell.

The calm conditions presented an opportunity to carry out some checks under the boat.

'Two crew members put on wetsuits and got in the water to inspect the propeller and steering gear. Not many people can say that they have been swimming in the forties!' Olly said.

Olly is considering tactics as his team deals with the lighter conditions and struggles to keep their 40-tonne Clipper 68 moving. 'With the worst of the high pressure now over the fleet, the competition is hotting up again as the boats toward the back of the fleet work themselves into a stronger northerly position,' he added.

'So as the coming weather takes a lighter appearance, we will have to get back into some more tactical sailing, although I doubt that we have seen the last of the wrath of the Southern Ocean,' Olly said.

From this weekend, Discovery has confirmed that it will start screening Against the Tide, the television series about Clipper 09-10, on Discovery, Discovery HD and their +1 counterparts with the first episode scheduled to go out tomorrow (Sunday 23 October) at 6pm.

Discovery World across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has also been screening the series on Tuesday evenings (times may vary in different territories) and today (Saturday 22 October) the whole series is being screened back-to-back on Discovery World throughout EMEA from 0835 to 1355 BST. Check local schedules for further information.

Positions at 0900 UTC, Saturday 22 October
Boat - DTF*
1 Gold Coast Australia - 1,517nm
2 De Lage Landen - 1,575nm (+57nm DTL**)
3 Welcome to Yorkshire - 1,699nm (+170nm)
4 New York - 1,699nm (+182nm) Stealth Mode until 0000
5 Qingdao - 1,727nm (+210nm)
6 Geraldton Western Australia - 1,727nm (+210nm)
7 Singapore - 1,767nm (+250nm) position at 0600
8 Visit Finland - 1,859nm (+342nm)
9 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital - 1,938nm (+421nm) position at 0600
10 Derry-Londonderry - 1,969nm (+452nm) Stealth Mode until 0000

*DTF = Distance to Finish. **DTL = Distance to Leader. Full positions are updated every three hours and can be found here.

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race website

by Heather Ewing


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

11:55 AM Sat 22 Oct 2011 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Related News Stories:

31 Oct 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - First Clipper 70 hits the UK
18 Oct 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to support youth cancer charity
16 Oct 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Deputy Race Director appointed
23 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Victory for Gold Coast Australia
21 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet on final phase
20 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet face tightly packed finish
19 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet head to Southampton
13 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – Qingdao cross Race 14 finish
12 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Race - Singapore first over Race 14 finish
12 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Race 14 finish fast approaching

News - USA and the World

Today, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) took to the water for the first time from their temporary base in Southampton, sailing their foiling AC45. The boat originally raced under BAR colours during the America’s Cup World Series in 2012-13, and has subsequently been modified to fly on hydrofoils. ... [more]  

As of the 2140UTC report on Day 10 of the first Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, the placings on the water on the water had not changed during the day, but the distances between the boats had reduced. The two easternmost boats, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing continued to lead but is only 4nm ahead of Team Brunel with about 600nm to sail to the turning mark of Fernando de Noronha 220nm off the coast of Brazil. ... [more]  

The calm weather returned on day five of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam as the wave sailors recovered from yesterday’s punishing, but brilliant, conditions. After a chilly start, with the thermometer reading just five degrees celsius, the temperature soon rose with the appearance of the sun, making for another stunning autumn day. ... [more]  

Day five of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has proved a day of reckoning for the competing fleet. The forecast strong northwesterly wind has arrived and consistently blown over 25 knots with gusts exceeding 40 knots. The effect has been to catapult the previously slow moving yachts towards the finish line in Malta. ... [more]  

A day and a night of uncertainty - later, the Doldrums will come to an end for the Volvo Ocean Race teams. By tomorrow morning, the fleet should be sailing safely in the southeasterly trade winds. So – who won this equatorial lottery? What was the best place to cross this convergence zone, where two hemispheres and two weather systems collide? ... [more]  

Known for erratic light airs alternating with sudden gusts that can last a minute or an hour from the giant unstable vertical clouds, the Doldrums (aka more officially the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone) are the unavoidable low-point of leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race for the determined men on Dongfeng. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Onboard Team Alvimedica. The synopsis is pretty straightforward: we are stuck in the Doldrums. Stuck, and stuck real good. All things considered, yesterday was actually pretty decent. We had a quick morning rainsquall that was able to power us south through the first line of ITCZ clouds already towering above our heads by 10AM. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Artie gunning for glory by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Lee Satariano's Maltese J/122, Artie has emerged as the hot favourite to become the overall winner of the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race. However, at 16:00 CET, Artie was still 80 miles from the finish and the Mistral storm is still raging. In addition, there are several yachts behind Artie that could still claim the overall prize. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Onboard Team SCA. Today I would like to share another perspective with you. Given the kind messages from Team SCA followers that we have been receiving onboard (thank you!), it would seem daily reports from our onboard reporter Miss Halloran and our onshore media crew have been doing a wonderful job of sharing our journey thus far. ... [more]  

The 17th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship took place from 15-18 October in San Francisco, USA. Hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, the 2014 Rolex Farr 40 Worlds welcomed 19 international entrants - comprising teams from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Turkey and the United States. ... [more]  

After two days of intense racing at the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, both fleets have completed a full schedule of six light-wind races, and they’ve earned their lay day! Very light and shifty winds were forecast for the day, and it was a nice surprise to see a seven knot side-off breeze fill in early from the North. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Big breeze and lumpy seas by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
There are 92 yachts still racing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The expected frontal system arrived around Midnight last night at the northwest corner of the course. Reports of storm force winds and big seas have been received by the Race Committee and 25 yachts had officially retired from the race by 15:00 CET on Wednesday 22 October. ... [more]  

Justin 'Judd' Goldman was 17 years old when he suffered a disabling bone disease. After realizing that there were few sports that he could participate in he discovered sailing. Over the next 58 years he competed successfully in many races throughout the world. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 10 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 10 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video: You know when you try to stick two positive magnets together and regardless as to how close you get them they never touch? Well, the ITCZ is a bit like that. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 1 turns inside out in Doldums *Feature by Richard Gladwell,
As reported earlier Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race would seem to have gone from being a tightly fought contest to being a procession to Cape Town. Even though only 40% of the course has been sailed, the distance between the boats are significant (other than the two lead boats) and look set to increase. ... [more]  

Student Yachting World Cup - After those days of sun and light air, the weather was upside-down with a cloudy sky threatening us of heavy shower at any time and a strong wind fluctuating from 15 knots to 25 knots! Two windward-leeward races took place today as the wind became far too heavy in the early afternoon. The 13th race began this morning: a second start occurred under black flag. ... [more]  

2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Over the last few days there have been frantic phone calls between travel agents from competitors at the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sixth stage and the oldest event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Over Friday night and into Saturday the Category Three Hurricane Gonzalo passed directly over Bermuda pummelling it with 100+ knot winds. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Big gains for two boats in Doldrums *Feature by Richard Gladwell/
Two boats have made big gains in the Doldrums, with the western-most competitors apparently not stopping and sailing though the convergence zone between northern and southern hemispheres, without dropping below 8kts. Team Brunel and Abh Dhabi Ocean Racing have both made big gains on the rest of the fleet - and the two easternmost boats - Team Vestas Wind and Mapfre, in particular. ... [more]  

In spite of Hurricane Gonzalo's thrashing of the Onion Patch last week, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the people of Bermuda are ready to host the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 6 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). All 20 teams have arrived safely from their corners of the world and will practice for a day and race on Wednesday. ... [more]  

While the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup always offers opportunities for young people to have new experiences, coping with Hurricane Gonzalo offered the 14 competitors traveling from overseas to Bermuda a hurdle that strengthened their respect for this island nation. Many of the 14 competitors spent layover time in either hotels or airports and some are now guests in homes without electricity. ... [more]  

Dynamic Stability Systems welcomes last week’s decision by IMOCA to place no further restrictions on its class rule. This permits both the six new IMOCA 60s currently under construction, as well as the existing fleet, to be fitted with the lateral lifting foils which DSS has spent the last decade pioneering. ... [more]  

Groupe Beneteau today announced its sponsorship of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider and ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. Groupe Beneteau is the world's leading yacht builder, and will now become a significant presence in high-performance sailing with its support of both the US national sailing team and North America's premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. It’s the place where the northern and southern winds meet, where a sailing race can be won or lost in an instant. And with its complex and confusing conditions, lack of breeze, and stifling heat – it’s also a place that most sailors can’t wait to see the back of. But there is one good thing about the Doldrums. ... [more]  

The Atlantic has proved to be a test for the VO65s in the Volvo Ocean Race and their teams as a battle of gybing down the west coast of Africa broke out, keeping all boats in a relatively tight-knit pack for much longer than expected. Having passed Morocco and the Canaries, we were drawn to the tricky-to-handle magnet of Cape Verde. ... [more]  

It’s the dawn of a complicated day in the Volvo Ocean Race. Let’s face it: we’re not having a very good time on Dongfeng. We lost distance last night, and our leading position. The day got dull afterwards. Sailing straight ahead, with the spinnaker up, in light winds. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 10 onboard Team SCA. Two days, eight hours, thirty-four minutes, and ten seconds, nine seconds, eight, seven, six, five… over the last few days the clock has gotten louder and louder as it counts down to October 23rd at noon—the time when we cross the equator and the time when myself and six other sailors join the rest of our crew in King Neptune’s court. ... [more]  

For Pablo Arrarte Elorza, the Volvo Ocean Race is a tough challenge. Not as far as physical effort is concerned because this likeable Spaniard is a very strong guy. For Pablo, the race is mostly a culinary war of attrition because the food that the team has bought with it on the race does little to please his gourmet palate. ... [more]  

The 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds kicked off on October 20th in Clearwater, USA, and it was hard work from the start: in 5-6 kt of breeze, offshore to start the day and side-on to close it, pumping was in order for the 54 boys and 28 girls gathered here for the 2014 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships. ... [more]  

The team at The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta are very happy to announce that entries are now open for the 2015 Regatta, taking place March 5 - 8. The team hopes to see lots of return entries as well as new ones this year, all coming to celebrate the event's 35th year. In order to celebrate this milestone year, there will be some new features this coming season. ... [more]  

After three complete days at sea only three boats competing in the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race have passed the northwest tip of Sicily, roughly the halfway point of the race. The prevailing wind remains weak, but is expected to strengthen this afternoon coinciding with the arrival of bulk of the fleet t the Egadi Islands. ... [more]  

Last week the Volvo Ocean Race was all about VMG downwind sailing, with Dongfeng being the star performer. After DFRT took the lead, they shortly lost it again 36 hours later after hitting something in the water and losing their rudder. Two hours later they were up and running again with the spare in. Impressive stuff. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 9 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Fight to the finish by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Igor Simicic's maxi, Esimit Europa 2 is expected to finish the Rolex Middle Sea Race in the early hours of tomorrow morning. However the 100ft carbon fibre canting keel Maxi is under serious pressure to secure their fourth Line Honours victory in the race. ... [more]  

Student Yachting World Cup - Fourth race day + Video
New improved swell forecasting and more locations from PredictWind
Volvo Ocean Race: Day 9 final report - Lead continually changing
Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup - An opportunity for growth
Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet charges the door of the Doldrums Casino *Feature
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Light winds on day 3
Volvo Ocean Race: Navigators throw away the routing textbook
Volvo Ocean Race - The Doldrums, a navigational nightmare + Video
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Maltese yachts top the leader board
Star Sailors League Finals - Torben Grael and Jorge Zarif join fleet
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica heads for the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA, a crew on a mission
Thailand bids for 2016 IODA ‘Optimist’ World Championships
Farr 40 Worlds: Prizegiving images from the Final day in San Francisco
Bill Green - builder and sailor passes on
ISAF World Sailing Rankings – 20 October 2014
Farr 40 Worlds: Images from the Final day in San Francisco *Feature
Farr 40 Worlds: Images from Day 2 in San Francisco *Feature
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - A hard day's night
34th Student Yachting World Cup 2014 - Second race day
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng loses lead, anyone's race ahead of Doldrums *Feature   
Flying Dreams 'An Ocean Story': The Movie   
New super maxis gear up for Rolex Sydney Hobart   
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 8 plus Videos *Feature   
Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design Challenge - Youngerman wins   
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Santander team victorious   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Waves continue to pound on day 2   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng consolidates lead on Day 8 *Feature   
RS:X Youth World Championships - All set for Clearwater action   
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Slow road north   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 – Dongfeng Race Team - A risky call   
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Escaping the shroud of Mount Etna   
Farr 40 Worlds: Day 4 Image and Video gallery *Feature   
Australian 18 Footers League’s Major A. Frizelle Trophy   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leader gambles on Island windshadow   
2014 Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Final day video highlights   
2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Plenty of time   
Coast Guard rescues two near Wachapreague   
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 2   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Massive swell on day 1   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT