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18 May 2003, 06:46 pm
Hong Kong Puts the Heat On
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Clipper 2002/03 Round the World Race
Singapore - Mauritius

So unable to verify their position we just had to go with the positions we had, as sent back by Duty skipper Ross Daniel on New York, and passed to him over the radio by the other skippers.
Pretty fool proof but still it showed an almost unlikely burst of speed. This morning however confirms it and Hong Kong are indeed in second place. Bristol hang onto their place in the sun but with three boats within 4 miles they will certainly be feeling the heat.

After an impressive couple of days in second (and for a while first) place, Cape Town have dropped slightly to fourth. This is actually slightly harsh, as they have only slipped back by 0.9 of a mile, but no doubt the boys and girls on Liverpool will view that as enough excuse to put them in front. Jersey remain in fifth but have pulled out the best days run and have steamed off to the south west, so will definitely be a force to be reckoned with, whilst London and Glasgow remain virtually neck and neck. New York's tactic of heading south was a good on but the wind gods weren't on their side and have enabled the rest of the fleet to outflank them. As Ross commented in this morning's report, "The boats to the west of the fleet had a good 24 hour run and have made up the southerly ground so are in a good position, Jersey had the best run and are mid fleet and in a good position both westerly and southerly."

He remains philosophical however, and comments instead about a problem that will be rather familiar to followers of previous Clipper Races.

"Many boats have reported seagull problems, we had 2 birds fighting on top of the mast - they pecked at the Windex and anemometer so we had to go up the mast this morning and re-attach the Windex. Jersey hoisted a handheld VHF in a bucket to shout at their bird, then hoisted a stereo to blast music at it - thinking outside the box - but neither worked so they had to live with them as well. We may have "lodgers" for a while. The wind is picking up and has come around to the SE and the sun is out. Happy days."

And there are other problems to confound and confuse as Bristol skipper Richard Butler mentions in today's diary report "There is a low pressure system of to the WSW. Its all a bit confusing, since now that we are in the southern hemisphere, everything goes the wrong way round. The wind goes clockwise round a low and anticlockwise round a high. Even the water going down the plug hole goes the wrong way!"
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