Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resources 2017 728x90
JOIN THE RACE JOIN THE 2017-18 RACE MAGAZINE DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL SOUVENIR RACE MAGAZINE Check out the latest photo galleries from the Clipper 2015-16 Race
UNICEF ABOUT UNICEF

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 9, Day 22: Racing tight at the front

by Clipper Race 14 Apr 07:32 PDT 14 April 2018
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 9: The Race to the Emerald City, Day 22 © Clipper Race

With the Mighty North Pacific Ocean relatively calm to what was experienced by the fleet a few days ago, the leading Clipper Race teams are relishing the return to full race mode as they enter the final stretch of the 5,600 nautical mile marathon to Seattle, USA.

The phenomenal sea state has settled due to the incoming high and will remain that way for the next few days. With the current conditions moderate to rough and winds between 20 and 30 knots, the top three remains unchanged for a third consecutive day, with Qingdao still holding off Sanya Serenity Coast and Unicef.

Just 15 nautical miles separates first and second, Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper Wendy Tuck, who's team is currently on top of the overall race standings, is enjoying the chase, saying: "Surfs are still happening, there has been some sail changes and we know Qingdao is just up in front well over 10 nautical miles and under 20 so we are chasing - nice to be back to race mode.

"This will just get more intense as the boats behind and further south have a nicer angle to come up and join our party, so we are staying focused."

The third placed Unicef is another 15 nautical miles astern and Skipper Bob Beggs reports: "Following a night of steady progress and decreasing conditions, Unicef has shaken out her wings, all reefs gone and the Yankee 3 replaced by the Yankee 1. We continued all day to make steady progress towards the eastern limit of the 45 degree north virtual beach."

Race Mode is also back on for HotelPlanner.com and Visit Seattle, after both teams completed much needed repairs to their mast tracks. Following a constructive chat with the Clipper Race Maintenance Team, Skipper of the fifth placed HotelPlanner.com, Conall Morrison, says: "After a morning of tapping, bending, grinding, filing, fitting, more filing and some spray lube, the mast track was back in business. At 1300h local we were pretty much able to go from three reefs to full mainsail and get back on the race pace again.

"I reckon over the 24-hour period that we had the problem we lost about 30 miles to the competition. Which given what happened isn't so much, hats off to the team for keeping the wheels turning, the boat going in a straight line making headsail changes happen and analysing the weather info whilst Anna, GG and myself were busy."

On Visit Seattle, the Skipper was also full of praise of her crew for managing not only the tough conditions, but also carrying out the same tricky repairs. Nikki Henderson comments: "This morning, two hours after dawn, we finally finished repairing the mast track. Just before the storm hit, two sections of the track that our mainsail slides up on ripped out the mast. Both sections were about 30cm long and at the height of the second spreader (around 15ft up) which meant we have not been able to fly a mainsail for nearly three days now.

"Jerome, (world's most amazing engineer and team player), has spent around 12 hours up the rig in a terrible sea state left over from the storm - not an easy job on land let alone at sea."

Over the next 24 to 48 hours, the fleet will begin the second chance at bonus points for this race, the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint. With up to three crucial bonus points up for grabs, Garmin Skipper Gaëtan Thomas, whose team has earned four Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint bonus points to date, says: "The wind is still a bit gusty and the sea state a bit big but now we are flying our Code 3 (Heavyweight Spinnaker) and are having a good speed in the right direction! Not far to the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint, we will see what we gonna have there but with the fleet not really compressed, it does smell like a lottery sprint!"

To follow the fleet's progress to the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint and for the rest of the race to Seattle, keep an eye on the Clipper Race Viewer. You can also read the Skipper Blogs in full in the Team Pages section of the website or find out the latest from the crew in the Crew Diaries.

The latest Estimated Arrival Times into Seattle can also be found on the Clipper Race Website. The fleet was originally expected to finish the 5,600nm Race 9: The Race to the Emerald City from Qingdao to Seattle and arrive into Bell Harbor Marina between Saturday 14 and Thursday 19 of April, but conditions in the early part of the race means the boats are now expected between Thursday 19 and Saturday 21 April.

Related Articles

Clipper Race crew celebrating another milestone
After successfully completing their Yachtmaster Offshore certifications Hot off the back of completing the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, ten circumnavigating crew members are celebrating another milestone after successfully completing their Yachtmaster Offshore certifications. Posted on 14 Sep
Historic win inspires women for a life at sea
History was made when Wendy Tuck became first woman to win a round the world yacht race Organisers of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the race which Tuck won, have today revealed that a female topping the podium has led to more interest from women than ever before. Posted on 7 Sep
Clipper Race reveals partnership with Zhuhai
Multi-million pound partnership with Chinese City As China experiences rapid growth of its sailing industry, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has revealed that the 'Islands and Sailing' city of Zhuhai, China, is to become a Host Port and Team Partner Posted on 31 Jul
Female skippers dominate the Clipper Race
Only one male on the podium of the 2017/2018 Clipper Round The World Race Tuck and Henderson were joined on the winner's podium by Chris Kobusch (GER; 32), skipper of Qingdao, who was the sole male skipper honored at the victory ceremony. Posted on 30 Jul
Clipper Race makes history in Liverpool
Australian sailor Wendy Tuck becomes first woman to win a round the world yacht race History has been made in Liverpool on Saturday as Australian sailor, Wendy Tuck, became the first ever woman to win a round the world yacht race after leading her Sanya Serenity Coast team to clinch overall victory in the Clipper 2017-18 Race. Posted on 29 Jul
What a race: The Clipper Race skippers reflect
One last sprint remains before the incredible adventure comes to a close Just one last sprint remains before the incredible adventure that has been the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race comes to a close and the party in Liverpool officially begins. Posted on 28 Jul
First Woman to Win a Round the World Yacht Race
History made as Wendy Tuck guides Sanya Serenity Coast team across the line History has been made as Australian Sailor Wendy Tuck becomes the first woman to ever win a round the world yacht race after clinching the overall victory in the Clipper 2017-18 Race. Posted on 27 Jul
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 13, Day 5
There are just hours left in the final race Qingdao, barring any mishap or weather change, seems set to take the win and Skipper Chris Kobusch says: "The tide turned earlier this morning and we are seeing double digits on the speedometer again. Posted on 27 Jul
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 13, Day 4
The end is in sight and the kites are flying The two teams gunning for the overall win – Sanya Serenity Coast and Visit Seattle – remain mid-fleet on day four of the thirteenth and final race of the Clipper 2017-18 Race. Posted on 26 Jul
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 13, Day 3
The final race remains anyone's After dropping in the standings yesterday, Visit Seattle worked hard overnight to move back in touch with the main chasing pack. Skipper Nikki Henderson explains: "Life feels brighter today. Posted on 25 Jul
Fever-Tree 660x82RS Sailing BOTTOMMarine Resources BOTTOM