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Scene Set For Tight Finish In New York For Clipper Race Fleet

13th June 2018
Earlier today on board Sanya Serenity Coast, currently some 54 nautical miles from the finish in second place Earlier today on board Sanya Serenity Coast, currently some 54 nautical miles from the finish in second place Photo: Clipper Ventures

#ClipperRace - The leading pack in the Clipper Race fleet has entered what should be the final 24 hours of Race 11: Nasdaq Race from Panama to New York today (Wednesday 13 June). But finishing positions are still very much up for grabs.

Just like the majority of the legs so far in the 2017-18 race, the end of Race 11 is set to be a close one. The latest ETA has the majority of the teams crossing the finish line within an 11-hour period from mid-afternoon today.

PSP Logistics remains in first place for a fifth consecutive day and has a 30 nautical mile lead on second-placed Sanya Serenity Coast with just 14nm to run until the finish line.

PSP skipper Matt Mitchell was enjoying where his team was at this morning even before the speed picked up, rocketing the boat within sight of the end.

“We are ghosting along towards the finish line with just under 80 nautical miles to go as I write. It’s been a lovely day today with nice clear skies and decent breeze.”

Things are far less settled in the chasing pack. As of 2.30pm Irish time on Wednesday afternoon, 40nm separates second from seventh. And with the wind forecasted to remain patchy for the next 24 hours, the final two spots on the podium are anyone’s.

Dave Hartshorn, skipper of fourth-placed GREAT Britain, explains: “The interesting bit is, no one knows what the end picture looks like. Earlier we were thundering along at 14-15 knots, now we are just making 7 knots.”

Sanya Serenity Coast, currently in second place after overtaking Unicef early on Wednesday, has also been experiencing changeable conditions.

Skipper Wendy Tuck reports: “So, it’s been a very mixed up sort of day. Started off blast reaching smoking along with the aid of the Gulf Stream. It was a bit of a rodeo ride and very splashy but heaps of fun. Then more reaching with an easing wind and sea state. Finally popped the kite and now charging to the finish line.

“Unicef is in our rear-view mirror, snapping at our heals, and over on the other side of the course we have Garmin and Nasdaq … it is a fight to the end.”

In order to podium in its home port of New York, seventh-placed Nasdaq — just a hair behind Conall Morrison’s HotelPlanner.com in sixth — will no doubt be looking for the same speed which saw it win the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint.

Nasdaq picked up three bonus points after completing the 180nm sprint in 15 hours, 14 minutes, and 10 seconds, at a very impressive average speed of just under 12 knots.

Garmin was just 29 minutes and 1 second behind to earn two bonus points, while GREAT Britain set the third fastest time, 16 hours, 24 minutes, and 25 seconds - just 15 minutes ahead of the fourth placed Qingdao - to collect one point.

On the push to the finish line, Nasdaq skipper Rob Graham says: “We spent last night weaving around some very shifty winds as a squally weather front passed overhead, then had a few hours storming progress northwards helped by the Gulf Stream.

“Conditions were initially a little sporty for the Code 2 (Mediumweight Spinnaker) but have been easing ever since, so I'm now going back on deck for a peel to the Code 1 (Lightweight Spinnaker).”

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