Please select your home edition
Edition
Clipper Ventures
JOIN THE RACE JOIN THE 2019-20 RACE MAGAZINE DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL SOUVENIR RACE MAGAZINE Check out the latest photo galleries from The Clipper Race
UNICEF ABOUT UNICEF

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 10, Day 17: Stealth mode shakes up leaderboard

by Clipper Race 17 May 2018 04:00 PDT 17 May 2018
Day 17, Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 10: The Garmin American Challenge to Panama © Clipper Race

On day 17 of Race 10 from Seattle to Panama the leaderboard has seen almost a complete transformation. With Stealth Mode being used to shield tactical moves or favourable wind shifts, Dare To Lead has reappeared to take the lead for the first time during the Garmin American Challenge.

With the second Mandatory Gate, which could become the Race 10 finish line, less than 15 nautical miles (nm) ahead, the team in a strong position at this stage of the race.

Despite Skipper Dale Smyth being frustrated about Dare To Lead's position further south than the leading pack earlier on, this southerly gamble in Stealth Mode has paid off and when the team reappeared on the Race Viewer, it had covered twice the amount of ground compared to yesterday's leader, Visit Seattle, and managed to break away from the pack.

The majority of the rest of the fleet remains parked up off the coast of Oaxaca with the teams struggling to make their way out of fickle light airs with Visit Seattle, Qingdao and Sanya Serenity Coast making less than 20nm in twelve hours. Second placed Visit Seattle Skipper, Nikki Henderson, reports: "3000nm of racing and we are drifting 30nm from a potential finish line within five miles of two other boats. This is intense."

Despite glimmers of hope, it has been another frustrating day on the water as the variable winds that have plagued the fleet since reaching the doldrums continued. Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper, Wendy Tuck, said: "This afternoon we had a great sail upwind, it took us a while to figure out what to do as it has been ages since we sailed up wind, was nice for a change as it really was cool. This upwind sail is what helped us catch up the leaders, but now we have slammed into a brick wall and its horrible."

PSP Logistics is now also stuck in the same wind hole, skipper Matt Mitchell reports: "It's been a frustrating day and progress has been slow, although we did get a bit of bonus wind earlier we are well and truly stuck now."

Elsewhere, Unicef was leading and HotelPlanner.com was in fifth yesterday when they opted to hide their positions from the rest of the fleet but it will be twelve hours until it can be seen whether they have managed to escape the grips of the windless hole.

Despite the leaders grinding to a halt, there has been some relatively rapid progress for the teams who were further back as the wind filled in for them first with sightings of some squally conditions and electrical activity. Currently in fifth, Garmin Skipper Gaetan Thomas said: "For a few hours the wind has made the team work; from nothing, to wind in the face. Then we saw some lightning and I asked to make sure we were prepped to reef the main, it was something far away, a reef, a squall? some wind?!"

GREAT Britain, currently sixth, has managed to break the tie between itself and Nasdaq, in seventh, with the cat and mouse game finally ending when Nasdaq opted to go further inshore and GREAT Britain managed to utilise the increased wind. GREAT Britain Skipper David Hartshorn said: "We started the day close together, then appeared to choose different routes, with Nasdaq going inshore. So, we are once again charging into the night, although lacking starlit backdrop this evening, tonight its different. There is lighting off to our starboard quarter, the smell of rain in the air and some ominous dark clouds gathering."

These conditions are due to the ITCZ is moving further north as Simon Rowell, Clipper Race meteorologist reports that it is looking like the ITCZ will be right over the fleet from tonight and possibly for the next two to three days and that the teams should expect a lot more squalls and some electrical activity too.

Although the present finish line for Race 10: The Garmin American Challenge is in an area due south of Isla Jicaron in Panama, any of the mandatory gates listed inand viewable on the Race Viewer may be used as a finish line should the Race Committee deem it necessary to conclude the race in interest of the race and crew. So, the pressure remains on to reach the second Mandatory Gate Bowley as, if conditions continue as forecasted, the Race Office could decide for the this to be finish line to Race 10.

The race to Panama is expected to take approximately 23 to 26 days, with the fleet expected to arrive between 23 – 27 May. The brief stopover will feature one of the highlights of the Clipper 2017-18 Race – the Panama Canal – which will see the teams bid farewell to the Pacific Ocean and re-enter the Atlantic Ocean ahead of the final three races of the circumnavigation.

To see how progress unfolds, keep an eye on the Clipper Race Viewer. You can also read the daily Skipper Blogs in full on the Team Pages, as well as keep up with the latest on board in the Crew Diaries.

Related Articles

Spinlock becomes Clipper Race lifejacket supplier
Spinlock will be kitting out each of the eleven Clipper Race crews The Clipper Race is pleased to reveal Spinlock as its new Official Lifejacket Supplier for the next two editions, 2019-20 and 2021-22, of the biennial round the world yacht race. Posted on 19 Mar
Ambassadors chosen to represent the city of Zhuhai
18 brave adventurers chosen after a tough three day selection process The candidates, who went through a tough three day selection process, hosted by the Zhuhai Jiuzhou Holdings Group and a delegation from the Clipper Race, will become Zhuhai Ambassadors in the upcoming edition. Posted on 16 Mar
Lebalang's remarkable success story
There are not many as inspiring stories as that of Lebalang Molobele When Lebalang was selected from over 200 applicants to become part of an 8-person South African tag team who sailed on board the Invest Africa team in the Clipper 2013-14 Race, the realities of the challenge soon began to sink in for the then 22-year-old. Posted on 13 Mar
Clipper 2019-20 Race: Zhuhai, The City of Islands
Clipper Race makes its debut visit in the spring of 2020 Eyes will be turning to the Chinese city of Zhuhai in the spring of 2020, when the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race makes its debut visit. Posted on 10 Mar
First boat branding revealed for Clipper Race
First boat branding revealed for Clipper Race It's hard to hide away a 70ft ocean racing yacht but the team at Clipper Race HQ has been hard at work in a secret location. Posted on 9 Mar
Youngest Clipper Race skipper wins Yachting Award
Nikki Henderson has been awarded the prestigious YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award Clipper 2017-18 Race Skipper Nikki Henderson has been awarded the prestigious YJA Yachtsman of the Year Award after making history when, at 24, she became the youngest ever skipper to compete in the biggest round the world yacht race. Posted on 6 Mar
All-female winners recognised
In YJA Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the Year Awards Two firsts marked the 2018 Yachting Journalists' Association Yachtsman of the Year and Young Sailor of the Year Awards: all-female winners and a tie for the YJA Yachtsman of the Year trophy. Posted on 6 Mar
Clipper Race: The ultimate gap year
Timothy Morgan preparing to take on racing around the world Timothy Morgan, a 19-year-old student from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, is preparing to take on the ultimate gap year challenge of racing around the world. Posted on 10 Feb
Sta-Lok returns to rig the Clipper 2019-20 Race
Official standing rigging supplier for the 40,000nm circumnavigation Product testing doesn't come much tougher than a 40,000nm circumnavigation and during Sta-Lok's debut in the Clipper 2017-18 Race the rigging hardware installed on the fleet of 70ft racing yachts withstood every challenge as they raced around the world Posted on 7 Feb
Sir Robin congratulates Golden Globe winner
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston travelled to Les Sables d'Olonne to congratulate Jean-Luc Van Den Heede Just months out from the 50th anniversary of his historic voyage, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has travelled to Les Sables d'Olonne to congratulate the winner of the Golden Globe Race 2018. Posted on 30 Jan
YY.com app (top)