Clipper Race fleet halfway to Australia
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.
CURRENT LEADER: Australian Skipper Wendy Tuck on board the Sanya Serenity Coast at the race’s start.