CLIPPER RACE - The wind has abated slightly and the waves have decreased marginally, providing a little respite to the crews as they close in on Qingdao.
The wind has freed off a little more to the north from the north east and forecasts predict that it will veer back round to the north east again soon to give pack leaders GREAT Britain, Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Mission Performance a better angle towards the finish line.
GREAT Britain has sailed into a patch of light wind and is currently only making 3.8 knots.
Simon Talbot, skipper of GREAT Britain, said his team had been working really hard to rinse every last ounce out of the dying wind to get past the virtual mark before it shuts down completely and leaves them at the mercy of the current.
“I am pleased to say we have just passed it, which means the next waypoint off the course is now the finish line which lies a tantalisingly close 171 miles away!”
Derry~Londonderry~Doire skipper Sean McCarter said: “All good things must come to an end though and it seems that the Yellow Sea is running out of wind for the moment. Not only that but the new breeze is forecast to fill in from the north-west which means that after a few hours of bobbing around, we’ll be back to slow upwind sailing. Nevertheless, we have blown the cobwebs off our medium weight spinnaker, re-read the instruction manual on how to use it and are currently milking the last few miles out of this breeze.”
For the yachts in the middle of the pack, progress is still painfully slow. Eric Holden, skipper of Henri Lloyd, said: “While we’ve seen some of the other yachts get some nice lifts, we have found none ourselves and continue on the same poor headings as the past several days. Unfortunately it looks like this slow steady slog will continue for the foreseeable future.”
Meanwhile, Jamaica Get All right has made a short pit-stop in Taiwan as it motor sails to Qingdao following a decision to cease racing due to forestay safety concerns.
Today is International Women’s Day. Read some of the stories of the global women of the race here, including Vicky Song, the first Chinese woman to circumnavigate the globe, taking part in the race on board Qingdao.
To read all the skipper reports click here.
To track the fleet’s progress on the official Race Viewer click here.