The 15:00 positions yesterday revealed a change in tactics and course from some of the Clipper 2002 racing fleet.
Jersey Clipper turned North to join the fleet and Hong Kong Clipper turned North away from the pack and taking London's crown as most Northern boat. London meanwhile has continued their fight for seventh place and has swapped slots on the leader board once more.
Reports from the fleet remain brief as they are still out of satellite range on this part of the race, however news from Justin TAYLOR aboard Hong Kong Clipper this morning is that the squally nights are continuing in the rather overcast Indian Ocean. Wind conditions have lightened slightly in between these squalls and at 03:00 they were sailing in 10 knots of breeze coming from the North East in calm seas. This of course explains why Hong Kong and Jersey have dashed to the North, as they capitalise from the current wind conditions even though it appears that they sacrificed a few miles to do this.
Cape Town Clipper will be enjoying the fact that Jersey now appears to have slipped behind them as they take the position as Southern boat in the fleet. What they perhaps haven't realised is that Simon has had his fingers burnt in this part of the world before and as Skipper of Leeds Clipper in the 2000 race, he was caught in a wind hole that cost him many miles as he stayed South too long. Fingers crossed that this does not happen to the South Africans as they have had a great race mid fleet so far.
Adam KYFFIN and his crew on board Liverpool Clipper continue to hold off the competition. However Bristol Clipper have climbed up the table again and are now in second place once more having gained over 3 miles on Liverpool. Their tussle with New York Clipper has continued to provide the crews with some exiting and exhausting sailing. Constant trimming and sail changes over the last 12 hours have seemingly paid off however. It will be an interesting and hard working 600 miles to Port Louis for the top three teams as they will not want to be trading places on the leader board too often as they approach finish line.
As we can see from the overall position chart, having separated out slightly the fleet, watching the miles tick by, are now approaching an area of much shallower water near the small island of Rodriguez. This island belonging to Mauritius, is a dramatic volcanic island 10 miles long it is the top of a seamount. It rises to nearly 400 metres above the sea, which is over 4000 metres deep in the Ocean trench to the South. Depending on the wind this could make the water a lot choppier. It will also offer the crews more of a wildlife show as the sudden up welling of water offers a plethora of plankton for fish and dolphins to feed on.
Back in the world of British Bank Holidays, the Race Director is today flying out to Mauritius. He will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of the yachts and the many crew supporters visiting the fleet in the tropical paradise of Mauritius, on what could be our busiest family and friends stopovers to date.
Clipper 2002 - Race 11 Positions
||Distance to Finish (nautical miles)