Gold Coast Australia was first in Cape Town for the transatlantic leg of the Clipper Round the World Race; they remain unbeaten after the first three legs of the race. They were quickly followed across the finish line by Visit Finland and De Lage Landen who finished 8 and 11 hours behind the leader respectively. Only one yacht currently remains out at sea and should be in by the week-end. Leg 3 begins on October 5th; the fleet will leave the Cape of Good Hope behind as they dip south towards the famous Roaring Forties and the Southern Ocean for a fast downwind ride to Geraldtown in Western Australia.
The Global Ocean Race 2011-12 fleet was finally greeted by a northerly breeze on Wednesday and are moving again after light air conditions accompanied them getting through the Strait of Gibraltar. At the front of the pack, we find Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Campagne de France followed by Ross and Campbell with BSL; things have changed a lot over the past few days though and it's still anyone's game as the 6-strong fleet heads down To Cape Town. The latest forecast will likely force the fleet to stay close to shore.
Eastern Atlantic conditions are similar In the La Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 race. It doesn't matter where the boats are on the course; light air is on the menu for everyone. The forecast conditions were for 'quiet or very calm', and they have been for the 78 participants. The event is better known as the MiniTransat and takes solo racers in 21' yacht 4200 miles from La Rochelle France to Salvador de Bahia in Brazil, with a stopover in Madeira; the fleet is divided between higher performance 'Prototypes' and more economical 'Series' yachts. This year, I enjoy following David Raison on Teamwork Evolution 747; he is racing a proto boat he designed and built himself and is looking to prove that a blunt and wide bow section, a la Midwest scow design, can be competitive; an interesting insight in the shape of things to come, literally. Bruce Gailey, a member of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club now working in Switzerland is doing quite well in the middle of the Series pack. You can track his position on the race website http://www.charentemaritime-bahia.transat650.net/en/; Bruce's boat is 529 - Black Mamba or follow his blog at http://minitransat529.wordpress.com/
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