Clip­per Around the World fleet cross the equa­tor

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

VISIT Seattle re­mains on top of the leader board for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day, lead­ing the Clip­per Race fleet over the equa­tor and into the South­ern Hemi­sphere for the first time.

It’s a big mo­ment for the teams, as the fleet will spend the next five months rac­ing in the South­ern Hemi­sphere, only cross­ing back over the equa­tor in Fe­bru­ary 2018 on the way to Sanya.

With a 30.85 nau­ti­cal mile lead over the sec­ond placed Sanya Seren­ity Coast, Visit Seattle Skip­per Nikki Hen­der­son is en­joy­ing be­ing free of the dol­drums cor­ri­dor.

“It feels great to be out – now we can roam the South At­lantic as we please, and fin­gers crossed there are a few less wind holes than we have found in the North­ern Hemi­sphere,” he said.

Be­hind the two fe­male skip­pers, Qing­dao and Great Bri­tain are neck and neck, fight­ing for third.

Qing­dao is cur­rently in medal po­si­tion, though there is less than one nau­ti­cal mile be­tween the two teams.

Qing­dao skip­per Chris Kobusch com­ments:

“It is sur­pris­ing to see an­other Clip­per Race yacht in the mid­dle of the ocean af­ter over 3000 nau­ti­cal miles of rac­ing. I think this shows the qual­ity of the race, how hard it is to gain a po­si­tion, and how easy it is to lose it again. Small mis­takes go a long way.”

HotelPlan­ is fifth and skip­per Con­all Mor­ri­son is happy with how his team of ama­teur sailors are pro­gress­ing. .

“Star­board watch had the deck when the wind fi­nally backed enough to al­low us to make our pre­ferred course to­wards the Brazil­ian coast, and we have cracked the sheets a cou­ple of inches and are see­ing boat speeds over nine knots av­er­age,” he said.

GLOBAL RACE: The Clip­per fleet has crossed the equa­tor.

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