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Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race 12 Day 15: Skipper blogs

by Clipper Round the World 11 Jul 01:49 PDT 11 July 2018
Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race 12 Day 15 © Clipper Race

The final two teams, GREAT Britain and Liverpool 2018, are edging closer towards Derry-Londonderry. For GREAT Britain, Race 12 is due to conclude later tonight (Wednesday 11 July) and the team is scheduled to arrive into the city in Northern Ireland in the early hours of Thursday morning. For Liverpool 2018, it has been a frustrating 24 hours, with a wind hole grinding progress to a halt for the final 300 nautical miles. The team is due to cross the LegenDerry Race finish line 24 hours behind GREAT Britain and is currently expected to be dockside in the early hours of Friday morning.

Read the latest Skipper Blogs, Race 12 Day 15, below and keep en eye out on the Derry-Londonderry ETA page for the latest arrival information and the GREAT Britain and Liverpool 2018 team pages for latest updates from on board:

Lance Shepherd, Liverpool 2018

Race 12 Day 15

An extremely frustrating day of bobbing around going nowhere. Our weather guru warns us that we will be stuck here for another 12 hours and then the winds after that don't look too promising.

The crew are a wee bit frustrated as we have already accepted eleventh place following the diversion, we were only racing ourselves. It's just a bit disheartening after doing the extra miles to go to Newfoundland that we couldn't keep ahead of the high pressure causing this wind hole.

We tried our best to sail as fast as we could to sneak in front of it, but no luck the blue dots of doom have won!! Now we just want to arrive and join our friends on the fleet to enjoy all that Derry-Londonderry has to offer us.

But, all that being said, we did have one of the most dramatic sunsets tonight that reminded those on Port Watch why we are out here... for unique experiences. As the suns globe dropped below the horizon it left an electric orange light lining the clouds. Spectacular.

Ta,

Lance

Dave Hartshorn, GREAT Britain

Race 12 Day 15

Hello Team,

Great to touch base again, how are we doing this "Reunited" Wednesday? Week going to plan? On course for ticking off the "to do list" by Friday? This end at last we appear to have broken free of the all-consuming wind hole and that, combined with our now-resolved partial Sat Comms issue, means we are trucking towards Derry – Londonderry, moral on the GREAT Britain boat is...great!

We are achieving speeds of 10kts for the first time in a week. We are sailing BCW (best course to windward) under the Yankee 1, stay and full mainsail. And as we head towards the Irish coast, at the moment we have Aran Island on the nose, about 40 miles to our front. If the wind doesn't back any more we will have to tack back out to pass VM Newman. (Good morning Martin, Beanie needs to have a chat about our rather sorry looking Code 1 – lightweight spinnaker - which is showing signs of having done 40,000nm). Once we have passed that mark, the winds look favourable to hopefully let us get into Derry in the early hours of Thursday, then once more we are back in the UK.

We can feel that we are getting nearer land, there are more fishing boats and sea birds. The grey dark skies with rain in the distance will prevent us seeing land for a long time yet, but the is just a feel that there is a welcome hiding the other side of the precipitation.

Being back in the UK is not the only reason for celebration among the GREAT Britain crew for this leg. For some, it will be a celebration of their first ocean crossed so I am sure that the Guinness will taste even better for John Mac, Sandra, Julie, David, Ross and Bruno. They have achieved something remarkable, a completed ocean crossing by wind alone (even if it did disappear for about 36 hours).

A disappointing result for the GREAT Britain boat, especially having come off the back of two successful races in the last Leg. There is, though, still a positive spirit within the team and positive thoughts going into the next race. Thomas has continually mentioned the positive attitude and supportive team nature that is the fabric of this team.

When we leave Northern Ireland for the start of Race 13, Pip and Jon, my trusted Watch Leaders will be stepping down, and become assistant Watch Leaders. The new Watch Leaders will be two crew who we think have developed and displayed the team spirit that we think encapsulates the attitude of this GREAT Britain team. So, you will have to join us after the break to find out who those crew are.

In the meantime, we are all looking forward to have an amazing stopover and enjoy the Foyle Maritime Festival. We are in for a grand time.

In the training office in Gosport there are a number of sayings written on the wall, to inspire would-be Ocean Warriors. One is "records will be broken", well today's GREAT Britain stats certainly do that, unfortunately the wrong sort. Our not-so-GREAT Britain stats are; Distance travelled in the last 24hrs 85nm (average 3.5kts) DMG was 67nm (78%). Our current DTG (Distance to Guinness) is 115nm.

Standing by this Channel-out

Dave

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