Race from Airlie now on the home stretch
STRONG winds in the Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race have led to some thrilling racing conditions for the Clipper Race fleet, with teams recording speeds of more than 32 knots near the virtual mark at the most southern point of the course.
The choppy sea state has been presenting its own challenges for the crew but as the frontrunners begin their journey north, conditions are expected to ease slightly over the next couple of days, with a high developing off the south of Japan.
As Derry~Londonderry~Doire continues to lead the
fleet, GREAT Britain and Garmin are in an ongoing battle for second place in the race that departed Airlie Beach last month. Currently in fourth place,
LMAX Exchange Skipper Oli- vier Cardin said his crew had rounded the Vietnam virtual mark in the dark
“We turned the helm to the wind and everything changed on board. We felt the real wind around 30 knots with the tension in the sheets. We felt the aggressiveness of the waves, giving the boat some unusual and daring movement. We felt the boat heeling,” he said. LMAX Exchange is closely
followed by Qingdao, which has set a new fastest time for the fleet in the Clipper 2015-16 Race, with circumnavigator Vitaly Kmelnitsky hitting 32.61 knots while at the helm.
Da Nang – Viet Nam has also rounded the Vietnam virtual mark, with IchorCoal and
ClipperTelemed+ behind. IchorCoal Skipper Darren Ladd said the long haul back north would then begin in earnest.
“Conversation is slowly moving on from the route changes to plans for the Da Nang stopover,” he said.
“Potentially Vietnam is one of the most exciting destinations to date – a first-time Clipper Race Host Port, different culture and all the delights of Asian food and hospitality.”
In 12th place is Visit Seattle. Skipper Huw Fernie said they were now getting into the shelter of the Philippines “and so the wind is dropping a touch, the seas are getting easier to cope with but are still large and messy”.
“It’s easy to see how so many of the others ended up having issues here, especially as they had more wind to deal with and were fighting for positions too,” he said.
With the course updated to ensure the fleet arrive in Da Nang within the original window, the tight circuit with multiple waypoints continues to challenge the programming of the automatically generated standings table.
This may throw up some misleading positions so those following the progress of the fleet are advised to check the Race Viewer map to see relative positions as the race continues.
RACE PROGRESS: Day 19 of the Clipper race from Airlie Beach to Da Nang, Vietnam.
ROUGH SEAS: Day 20 of the Clipper race from Airlie Beach to Da Nang, Vietnam.