What a weekend for the eight-strong Clipper 2002 fleet! Richard Butler and his crew on Bristol totally ignored Friday Thirteenth and any superstition connected with it.
They managed to get a good wind ahead of the others, as the conditions once again caused Rich to get richer.
Whilst the Bristolians had broad smiles on their faces, it was not so much fun at the back of the fleet where Hong Kong Clipper dropped even further behind. A good 12-hour stint however saw the Honkers crew on a definite charge, covering 108 miles. Skipper Justin TAYLOR reported: "We're not done yet by any means. Now averaging 9.2 knots over last 12 hours and we mean business."
Simon ROWELL and Jersey in seventh place had even a better day though, putting up the best 12 hourly run of 115 miles. This brought the Channel Islanders right back into the hunt and seeking Clipper scalps that were not that far over the horizon.
After an amazing turn of fortunes Jersey Clipper then stormed into second place, having previously trailed the leader by nearly 100 miles. After a fight back, this had been reduced to just over 50 miles, before a second setback put them at 112 miles adrift just 36 hours before their remarkable climb up the position table. By keeping north and as far away from the High Pressure area as possible, Jersey Clipper put in three excellent radio schedules and creamed the others to take second place.
The last 12 hourly schedule now shows that all the boats have finally got the wind from the SE and are making good progress. Yet again Jersey Clipper has topped the bill with 110 miles, with Hong Kong close to them with 106 miles. Cape Town Clipper has dropped a bit with a run of 94 miles, yet all the others were around the 100 mark.
Adam KYFFIN and his crew aboard Liverpool Clipper will be relieved to see the back of the 'High' which has dropped them down the order from what looked like a safe second place just two days ago. Possibly they will now have a useful windward advantage in the south as the new weather system comes in.
The Bristolians have seen their lead eroded by the Jerseymen in the North. Obviously skipper Simon ROWELL sees his miraculous recovery as a means to gaining citizenship in the sacred island. At 03:00 GMT, Jersey was in fact further west than Bristol (and nearer Africa) but still North of her by 36 miles putting them in second place by a mere 18 miles.
Ross DANIEL and his crew on New York have been doing great work in the middle and are holding a good third place; ready to pounce when the leaders fall on their swords. Jersey's great northern run has left them well to leeward and this could present an opportunity for New York and others, such as Liverpool, to take the initiative again.
Cape Town and Glasgow are have continued their private battle further south and are in sight of each other. This pair remains some 15 miles North of Liverpool Clipper. Most of the yachts are now reaching under number 1 or Number 2 Yankees with some reefs in. They are making 9 knots or so and should shortly start picking up the favourable current.
With only 14 miles separating Liverpool, Glasgow, Cape Town and London, it really could be anyone's call over the next few days.
Clipper 2002 - Race 12 Positions
||Distance to Finish (nautical miles)