Close competitive racing in the first leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race from London to Rio has been overshadowed this week by the death of a crew member in what appears to be a tragic accident.
Andy Ashman, a paramedic from South East London was an experienced sailor and described as being typical of the 'Corinthian' Clipper Race spirit. He was an inspiration to the rest of his team of amateur sailors from all walks of life.
While the team aboard IchorCoal went ashore at Porto, in northern Portugal, the Clipper Race fleet paid their respects, flew their Red Ensigns at half mast, and raced on as the most fitting tribute.
At the front of the fleet the duel continued between GREAT Britain and LMAX Exchange. But the two have now split with LMAX Exchange taking a clear lead of more than 160 nautical miles closer to the finish in Rio after taking better winds further east, racing through the Canary Islands and then close to the West Saharan coast.
The leaderboard has seen some considerable changes over the last 24 hours, as the teams made their tactical decisions on whether to pass between the Canary Islands and take more of an inshore route, or leave them to port.
As a lasting tribute the Atlantic Ocean Sprint, a short section of the race track off the Brazilian coast where extra points are awarded for the fastest team between two points, will be named in Andy's honour. The fastest team will receive a special trophy, the 'Andy Ashman Memorial Plate' in Rio and it will continue to be awarded in future editions of the Clipper Race.
As at 1400 UTC (1500 UK/BST) the fleet positions were as follows:
1. LMAX Exchange - 3542 nm to finish
2. GREAT Britain
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