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4 March 2003, 10:45 am
Feisty Nights With Feisty Kites
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Clipper 2002/03 Round the World Race
Hawaii (USA) - Yukohama (JPN)

As the fleet continue their roller coaster ride towards Yokohama, the pack has tightened together and the scene has been set for yet another nail-biting sprint to the finish.
The whole fleet has less than one thousand miles to run and they have covered some big distances over the last 24 hours. The weather might be getting colder, but the race is definitely hotting up.

Reports back are full of bigger waves and stronger winds. Rupert Parkhouse and his crew aboard Glasgow Clipper have been busy with repairs overnight and have done well to have gained five miles on the frontrunner Hong Kong.

Moments before they prepared to take down their mediumweight spinnaker it decided to come down of its own accord "with more of a whimper than a bang," although the sewing machine is out and all sounds good on the repair front. Happily the Scots could hoist their heavyweight kite and run with the heavier winds whilst repairing down below!

For Bristol and Jersey the wind veered last night, enabling them also to hoist their heavyweight spinnakers for a while and providing an exciting ride. Now however, they tell us that they are power reaching straight for the finish line. Reaching like this is an exciting point of sail on a Clipper 60 as we can see from their daily runs of 200+ nautical miles.

Exciting as it is, however, there are still a few murmurs of frustration on board Jersey as they fight to keep track with Bristol Clipper, who are creeping up the fleet without them - will the bird catch that worm?

Hong Kong and London remain in their long established top spots, with frontrunner Hong Kong achieving the third biggest distance covered over the past 24 hours of 191.8nm. Although the race is by no means won until they have crossed the Yokohama finish line...

In the Clipper 2000 race, Jersey Clipper thought they had their hands firmly on the winning yellow pennant only for Bob Beggs and the Bristolians to snatch it away in the final four miles. With this in mind, waiting for the next front to arrive are Cape Town and New York - we are still in for more fun as we race towards for the land of the rising sun!

LATEST POSITIONS

03:00 UTC 4 March 2003

Pos Yacht Distance to Finish (nautical miles)
1 Hong Kong 556.37
2 London 610.93
3 Bristol 612.15
4 Liverpool 618
5 Glasgow 631.29
6 Jersey 657.08
7 Cape Town 787.97
8 New York 810.5
Clipper Media/ISAF News Editor
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