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28 February 2003, 10:52 am
Nautical Tennis
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Clipper 2002/2003 Round the World Race
Hawaii (USA) - Yukohama ( HKG)

In what is starting to resemble a tennis game, the boats in the North have the advantage again this morning.
The Northern pack all managed between 80 and 90 miles in the last 12 hours, whilst poor old Bristol only sailed 33.5 miles and Jersey managed only slightly more with 45 miles in 12 hours.

This will not come as a surprise to anyone who read the weather forecast on the Jersey Clipper website. It correctly predicts that today will be a bad day with light winds, yet Saturday should see the weather favour the Southern boats again. However as Yokohama draws ever closer, will there be enough time for the Southern boats to overtake London and the Northern pack?

A psychological milestone is fast approaching for the crews as they race towards Yokohama. On these long ocean races, seeing the DTG (Distance to go) indicator on the GPS fall below 1,000 is a fantastic feeling. For the first time the end seems in sight, and the goal of finishing achievable. Self motivation to push the boat that little bit harder (and thus faster) is easier and the twice daily radio scheds take on renewed importance as the crews realise time is running out to catch those in front.

Conversation on board turns into what everyone is going to do at the new destination, and when off watch everyone is trying to read the guidebook to find the hotel with the softest, biggest beds and the cheapest bar with the latest opening hours.

Duty skipper Sam Fuller on board New York Clipper reports that she is currently beating into 30-knot headwinds and all on board are dreaming of hot Saki and heated toilet seats! Meanwhile on board Bristol Richard Butler reports a warm but frustratingly slow day and they have cottage pie to eat tonight whilst waiting for the wind to do what its supposed to do so they can win!

LATEST POSITIONS

03:00 UTC 28 February 2003

Pos Yacht Distance to Finish (nautical miles)
1 London 1159.95
2 Hong Kong 1234
3 Liverpool 1261.83
4 Glasgow 1270.42
5 Bristol 1335.47
6 New York 1337.21
7 Jersey 1385.58
8 Cape Town 1395.32
Clipper Media/ISAF News Editor
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