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Clipper Cork entry lying fifth on day 10

1st October 2009
Clipper Cork entry lying fifth on day 10
Unpredictable winds and light airs continue to hamper the teams this morning (Thursday 1st October 2009) as the fleet struggles to clear the Canary Islands. Cork skipper Richie Fearon and his crew are fighting hard and spirts are high, according to crew member Dave Paton's diary entry.

Clipper 09-10, Race 2: La Rochelle - Rio de Janeiro, Day 10

– Hull & Humber is 'kangaroo hunting' as the teams race towards the scoring gate
– Team Finland sticks to more reliable winds off the North African coast
– Qingdao struggles to break free of the Canary cage

"I am not one for chess and yet here I am engaged in a huge game with 38-tonne pieces and a board covering many millions of square miles of water," says Qingdao's skipper Chris Stanmore-Major. "After a good start we, along with everyone else, have met our nemesis here in the Canaries. Yesterday proved an interesting day with sail changes happening twice an hour through the morning and afternoon as the wind shot from 0 knots to 25 knots and back as we passed through the islands. This morning we are once again becalmed – not free yet of the pesky Canary cage but it seems to me you can't keep a dragon in a cage for long before it finds its way

Similarly Eero Lehtinen, skipper of the current race leaders, Team Finland, compared the racing conditions to a game of 'Ocean Bingo'. The Finnish skipper is now considering whether to trust the forecast or follow his instincts, saying, "Wind, or no wind? The expected wind, or something else? Reliable forecast, or time to believe in what you see and what you feel?

"All in all the GRIB files that we have been sent from the Race Office every 2–3 days have been amazingly accurate," says Eero. "So much so that one has been able to make rather precise routing plans based on
them. In the beginning of the race I didn't trust them, but after a couple of tough lessons I started taking a closer look!"

Less confident in the weather forecast is Cork's skipper, Richie Fearon, saying "We have just got some wind after a frustrating couple of nights and day of racing. The weather information I have is not the same as the
conditions we are currently experiencing so it's been extremely annoying not being able to plan a route!"

Less frustrated is the team on board California, with the American entry continuing to experience strong winds whilst chasing down the rest of the fleet. "We're flying!" exclaims skipper Pete Rollason. "We have been busy this morning getting this boat to go as fast as she can in the right direction. We've picked up the gauntlet laid down by the fleet and we are reeling them in slowly."

Meanwhile the crew on board Edinburgh Inspiring Capital is struggling to find any breeze at all. "No wind!" exclaims skipper Matt Pike. "Nothing! You can still trim in the lightest of wind but for the first time we have absolute zero. The sea surface is like a mirror, only being disturbed by the wake of passing dolphins. The competition between
watches has moved from who can get the top surfing speed to who can achieve the best improved speed."

The two horse race for the scoring gate between Hull & Humber and Spirit of Australia continues apace today, as each team vies for the three points that will be awarded to the first to cross. "We're expecting the Aussie's to pull their stealth mode out of the bag in the next 24 hours," says Piers Dudin, skipper of Hull & Humber. "Kangaroo hunting season opens today on Hull & Humber seeing now it's now a bit of a two horse race. We will be keeping a close eye on the radar and the horizon to see if we can bag ourselves a roo!"

Despite holding pole position, Team Finland has made the decision not to make a run for the scoring gate, choosing instead to hold on to the more reliable breeze off the coast of North Africa. "The main problem is that the gate is situated in an area which is exactly between two different air flows," explains Eero. "We find ourselves in pleasant north easterlies again which should last all the way to Cape Verde and beyond if we stay close enough to the African coast. Spirit of Australia and Hull & Humber are beating into a south westerly wind further west and the gate is somewhere between us. To get to the scoring gate we would spend a long time in very confused air and anyone heading that way will most likely take a knock to their progress to Rio."

Positions at 0600 GMT, Thursday 1st October 2009

Boat, Latitude Longitude, and DTF*

Spirit of Australia  27.11.50N   19.16.45W   3351nm
Team Finland    25.38.7N  15.51.38W  3352nm 
Hull & Humber    27.30.39N  19.52.31W  3356nm
Qindao     27.10.3N  16.49.22W  3407nm
Cork      26.52.19N  14.58.56W   3440nm
Uniquely Singapore   28.34.30N  18.17.15W  3448nnm
Cape Breton Island   28.1.21N  14.45.57W  3505nm
Jamaica Lightning Bolt   27.48.19N  13.40.26W  3523nm
Edingurgh Inspiring Capital  27.57.3N  13.28.9W  3537nm 
California(poled at 0520 GMT) 30.32.34N  18.57.3W  3542nm

(*DTF = Distance to Finish)

Full details of positions, updated every three hours can be found here

Published in Clipper Race Team

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About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is undoubtedly one of the greatest ocean adventures on the planet, also regarded as one of its toughest endurance challenges. Taking almost a year to complete, it consists of eleven teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.

This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to train drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest and most remote conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 76.

Now in its twelfth edition, the Clipper 2019-20 Race started from London, UK, on 02 September 2019.


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