Clip­per Race fleet halfway to Aus­tralia

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT | ON THE WATER -

SAIL­ING: As the Cape of Good Hope falls astern, the rac­ing Clip­per Round the World yachts track down to­wards the 40th par­al­lel.

The west­erly winds that the fleet has been wait­ing for fi­nally ar­rived for many of the teams as they passed the halfway mark of Race 3: The Dell Lat­i­tude Rugged Race to Fre­man­tle, Aus­tralia.

With un­der 2400 nau­ti­cal miles to go un­til Fre­man­tle, Sanya Seren­ity Coast is in the lead.

Hav­ing taken a more northerly route, the team has not yet found the right sail­ing con­di­tions to hoist a spin­naker but Aus­tralian and only fe­male skip­per Wendy Tuck said for the first time in ages her crew did a Yan­kee change.

“The sheets have been eased and we have a full main up,” she said.

“I had for­got­ten what it looked like, so nice to be sail­ing a bit freer now.”

It has been a par­tic­u­larly event­ful 24 hours for the se­cond-placed PSP Lo­gis­tics ves­sel.

“We’ve had wind holes and wind, as well as a lit­tle kitemare,” Skip­per Matt Mitchell said.

“Now we are cruis­ing in 25-30 knots of wind with the Code 3 (heavy­weight spin­naker) and we must have stum­bled into some favourable cur­rent or some­thing as the boat speed hasn’t been be­low 14 knots since we’ve had it up.

“Def­i­nitely putting some miles un­der the keel now.”

The race com­mit­tee an­nounced yes­ter­day Unicef had been awarded re­dress to­talling two hours and 33 min­utes for the time spent in sup­port of the stricken yacht CV24 on Oc­to­ber 31 at the start of Race 3 fol­low­ing an of­fi­cial re­quest from the Unicef team.

On Oc­to­ber 31, the race di­rec­tor in­structed Unicef to al­ter course and head back to a po­si­tion ap­prox­i­mately two nau­ti­cal miles due west of CV24 and stand by in case of evacuation by the crew.

Once the Na­tional Sea Res­cue In­sti­tute res­cue teams were on sta­tion, Unicef was in­structed to stand down and re­turn to the po­si­tion where they ceased rac­ing and to re­sume rac­ing as nor­mal.

The Clip­per Race fleet will make land­ing in the Whitsundays this com­ing Jan­uary for the highly an­tic­i­pated Clip­per Race Car­ni­val.

Clip­per Race chair­man Sir Robin Knox-John­ston said the fleet “can’t wait” to get to the Whitsundays, hav­ing al­ready had a taste of the re­gion’s de­lights in 2016.

PHOTO: ONEDITION

CUR­RENT LEADER: Aus­tralian Skip­per Wendy Tuck on board the Sanya Seren­ity Coast at the race’s start.

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