Today's report in this most extraordinary race is much the same as yesterday's story but more so. Jersey and Hong Kong continue to close the finish line by around 200 miles a day.
The tail enders, ironically New York and London, have virtually stopped and could only manage 31 and 14 miles respectively over the last 24 hour period. A massive 550 miles now separates first place Jersey from the tail-enders and this figure will continue to increase. All this has resulted from the leading boats having a mere 15 to 20 mile advantage 10 days ago on third placed Glasgow and the rest who were close behind. The gap opened slowly to 40 miles until drama earlier this week when, on Monday 11 August, they took off and the others virtually stopped.
This is a typical example of how boats' fortunes can change as since the break away these two have ridden the changing weather as they have been propelled north. Not only has this put them in even better weather but now they are getting the benefit of the current. Simon Rowell and Jersey have achieved a 550 mile lead over 3000 miles of sailing. He better enjoy this as he is unlikely to ever experience it again.
Cape Town shot up yesterday afternoon on the western flank but appears to have stopped with the others this morning, but still narrowly hangs onto their third place. Bristol remained in sixth yesterday afternoon but is the one boat that has come with a smile this morning. Yes, they lost 50 odd miles on the leader over the last 12 hours but they still moved up two places to fourth. When translated into the overall race points, this means they are once again the race leader.
Rupert PARKHOUSE has taken over the duty again in Glasgow. He reports the wind as WNW to N 3-4kts and that means they are making 2.5kts or so just south of west with the windseeker up. They have taken 5nm off DTF in last 8hrs. He says 'Everyone is finding the conditions hard and testing and how we long to be going again.'
Today's sympathy vote amongst the fleet goes out to Rory Gillard and his great crew in London. They are still out to the east and totally becalmed. It appears that they do not even have a friendly current as all they have managed over the last 24 hours is close New York City by a mere 14 miles. This is one record they could have done without and their situation is not helped by having communication problems.
The arrival times in New York are going to be extremely spread out. I expect Jersey to continue to make good progress as the wind will give them a good boost over the week end although it could then tail off. A finish two days early on Wednesday 20 Aug could well be a possibility. The back of the fleet is a far more difficult game to predict and it is clear that some will now be finishing after the estimated arrival time of Friday 22 August.
Clipper 2002 - Race 14 Positions
||Dist To Finish (Nautical Miles)