Duty skipper Adam Kyffin aboard Liverpool Clipper reported that the 12 to 15 knots of wind from the southeast that had given them such pleasant conditions overnight have now been replaced by, of all things, light winds from the west.
Adam described how the wind initially increased as the sky, previously clear, steadily clouded over. As the wind increased so it also veered more to the south prompting a peel from lightweight spinnaker direct to heavyweight, a sail more suited to reaching in the fresher breeze.
Some 4 hours later it all changed again as they approached a squally bank of cloud and were steadily headed until they were left with a frustrating 5 to 7 knots of westerly breeze.
This has forced them to choose between heading to the north or south of their desired track. Adam has said that, although north takes them closer to Japan, he does not yet want to make that call.
London Clipper has taken a slightly northern tack, whilst Bristol and Jersey have elected to sail even more to the south with Bristol now down to 18 degrees 56 north. Most are still heading due west to the best of their abilities and most have still managed reasonable mileages.
Hong Kong Clipper has returned to the front of the pack, having had the highest run of the day whilst Glasgow have fallen back to third allowing London to take second place.
They may be in the middle of the fleet, but both Cape Town and Liverpool have shown impressive runs. With less than 100 miles separating them from the leaders and with over 2,000 miles still to run, they are definitely in contention.
New York Clipper has had the worst run of the day with just over 120 miles sailed. We have no reports of damage so it is likely that they have just had the blunt end of the weather.
03:00 GMT 19 February 2003
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