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Clipper Race Leaders Eye Finish Line Of Leg 3’s Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint

18th November 2017
At the helm of Joker Card players Qingdao, currently neck-and-neck with Dare To Lead in the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint At the helm of Joker Card players Qingdao, currently neck-and-neck with Dare To Lead in the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint Photo: Clipper Ventures

#ClipperRace - Christmas has come early for the Clipper Race fleet, which is finally enjoying the downwind sailing conditions that teams have been hoping for – with the first half of the fleet already in the thick of Race 3’s Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint.

There has been no change to the top of the leaderboard with Sanya Serenity Coast remaining in first place, almost at the end of the sprint and more than 60 nautical miles ahead of PSP Logistics.

“We started the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint last night, so have our spikes on and we are off,” said Sanya skipper Wendy Tuck.

“This morning has been a bit busy – we decided to go for a hoist of the Code 3 [heavyweight spinnaker] … All went well, until about one hour later the breeze built up again and what with chippy choppy sea was time to get it down.”

Conditions are turning in her favour, however. “Now it’s getting packed as it looks like we will be able to hold it now as the breeze has changed direction and eased. So, it will be time to drive it like we stole it very soon.”

Visit Seattle has moved up the leaderboard into third position, followed by the almost neck-and-neck Dare To Lead and Qingdao, the latter of which is playing its Joker. GREAT Britain in sixth isn’t far behind.

Liverpool 2018 in seventh and Unicef in eighth will be the next teams to cross the start line of the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint, followed later by Garmin — which is also preparing for the non-emergency medevac of Erik Hellstrom who is suffering from an ongoing abdominal condition.

Garmin has been instructed to continue racing, making best speed towards Fremantle, with a plan to medevac Hellstrom via transfer to a non-race vessel when closer to the Australian coast and subject to a suitable vessel being located.

Nasdaq in 10th place is 100 nautical miles further back, while the Northern Irish-skippered HotelPlanner.com holds 11th and is working hard to claw back some miles, covering the biggest distance among the fleet in the last 24 hours of some 135nm.

Unlike the Scoring Gate, the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint bonus points are awarded to the three teams with the quickest times. The sprint winners therefore will only be announced once the final team has completed the challenge.

Clipper Race meteorologist Simon Rowell reports that today and much of tomorrow should bring a continuation of the strong WSW/SW winds that the teams currently have.

It looks like a high-pressure system will be sliding around Cape Leeuwin as the teams approach Fremantle, leading to some fleet compression and an exciting race finish.

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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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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