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Battle For Positions Continues As Clipper Race Fleet Crosses Leg 1 Finish Line

22nd September 2017
Battle For Positions Continues As Clipper Race Fleet Crosses Leg 1 Finish Line Photo: Clipper Ventures

#ClipperRace - Several teams continue to jostle for position in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race after Sanya Serenity Coast claimed line honours yesterday afternoon (Thursday 21 September), closely followed by PSP Logistics and GREAT Britain who arrived second and third respectively into Punta del Este late at night.

Qingdao and Dare To Lead were the fourth and fifth teams to cross the line in the early hours of this morning (Friday 22 September) and were greeted by a warm welcome from supporters despite the wet weather., skippered by Northern Irish sailor Conall Morrison, was this morning arriving into Punta del Este after crossing the line in sixth place at 8.52am Irish time, and only 21 minutes separated Garmin in seventh and Liverpool 2018 in eighth place a little later in the morning.

Unicef is expected to be the ninth team to cross the line over the next few hours. Skipper Bob Beggs said: “The time for reflection will come later after a shower, a steak, and possibly a beer or two. But one thing’s for sure - team Unicef can be proud of their achievements.”

Visit Seattle is currently in 10th place after spending another day in a wind hole, but the team is now moving again and expected to arrive into Punta del Este later today.

Greenings is on course to be the 11th team to cross the line on Saturday, but the redress awarded by the race committee, for the forced diversion to Porto for a replacement skipper will still need to be taken in to account.

Nasdaq, in 12th position, is making good progress and is expected to arrive on Sunday. Skipper Rob Graham said: “Nasdaq managed to maintain good speed throughout yesterday with both watches making small adjustments to sail trim to get the best out of the boat and the wind.

“We also managed to point at our destination, which to non-sailors sounds obvious (why would you point anywhere else?) but any sailor will tell you that it doesn't seem to happen very often.”

Clipper Race meteorologist Simon Rowell has informed the remaining teams that are racing that a front is moving up the coast with the low heading out to sea.

“It’ll carry on being a rather cloudy and squally one too for the southern boats, always more incentive to get through it quicker,” he said.

As the low moves out to sea it should pass ahead of the northern boats, so all teams should finish by the close of the weekend.

Meanwhile, Conall Morrison has posted his final Leg 1 skipper’s update after crossing the finish line this morning:

Well here we are.

As I type at the Nav Station, we have 26 miles to go to the finish line, quite apt... a marathon.

Randel Ransom has captured a few observations about how we have all found the journey. For me, it’s such a big thing. The longest I have spent at sea before was 16 days, so I’ve doubled that figure. We have gelled as a team over the past month and I must say I am very lucky to have such willing, talented, and capable crew onboard.

We have five crew-members leaving in Punta del Este:

Heather Kemp, who has turned out to be what Tony Dickinson would call, an evolutionist. Also, a speed demon helming under spinnaker - I don't know if I would get in a car with her driving.

Tony Dickinson – a proper gentleman and good fun guy to have onboard. He is very inquisitive and was handy with all of our ropework. Arts and crafts club will be missing an important member.

Randel Ransom – great guy and likes to have an overview of how things are going onboard. Also a keen helmsman. Great blog today.

Henri Micheron – big kind-hearted man, always smiling and happiest behind the helm. We will be missing a great helmsman.

Seamus Fenlon – he's a great laugh now, handy on the helm, and mast-splicer at this stage. He shared all of the things that he wanted to do on this trip and was very happy to be woken early yesterday morning to stand on deck and watch an Albatross glide over the South Atlantic.

That's all from me now. So many things to get sorted for arrival. Thank you all for your support, for reading the blogs, and for the encouraging emails that you have been sending :)


Published in Clipper Race
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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