Strong tides divide Clipper fleet
Strong tides running North have divided the fleet tactically overnight, with the front of the pack heading close inshore to seek faster routes.
Dale Smyth, Skipper of third placed team Dare To Lead, reported: “It was an interesting night with the front of the pack all deciding to head close inshore to Wales in order to escape the north flowing tide.”
The gap between first and last place has widened over the last 24 hours, with 68 nautical miles separating the teams and a group of four teams pulling away from the pack. At the top of the leader board is Unicef which has crept four nautical miles ahead of Visit Seattle this morning despite sitting in second place overnight.
Dare To Lead and Sanya Serenity Coast are just two nautical miles behind and with the top four still in eyesight of each other, it is a closely fought battle as the teams head towards Northern France.
The changeable conditions faced by the fleet mean that frequent sail changes are still required which is physically demanding for crew.
Crew members on board Greenings have had a busy night with the most sail changes of the fleet. In his report today, Skipper David Hartshorn said: “An interesting few watches have passed. We have gone from our lightweight kite (Code 1) to Windseeker. From Windseeker, we went to Yankee 1 this afternoon and changed down to Yankee 2.”
Overnight, some teams were rewarded for their persistence when encountering a pod of dolphins swimming amongst phosphorescent plankton, creating one of nature’s most mesmerising light shows. Leg 1, the Atlantic Trade Winds Leg is 6,400nm long, the equivalent of ten Fastnet Races, and this morning, Skipper David Hartshorn was noting that they were just 1.7% of the way through the journey.
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