Really the mileages say it all. For the overall race leaders on Jersey Clipper this has not been a good 24 hours as, almost totally becalmed, they fell from third to eighth in the space of 12 hours.
The wind was forecast to ease, but no one had predicted that it would die off this much. They may seek some small consolation by looking south towards Glasgow and Hong Kong who have also had a bad day making only 68 miles a piece and falling one place each, but what will really hurt is that their closest competitors overall are now two places ahead of them.
For the team on Bristol Clipper this would have been one of those days when you think you have done badly, only to find that someone else has come off worse. They may have gone from fourth to sixth, but have still sailed nearly 60 miles further than Jersey in the last 24 hours and are now considerably further north, thus potentially in a better tactical location.
A few days ago, Bristol skipper Richard BUTLER predicted that New York Clipper was possibly in the best tactical position and how right they were. Skipper Ross DANIEL had gambled on making progress to the north in preference to the early gains made by those who sailed more to the west and this now looks to have paid off.
Not only have they stormed into first place, they are still well to the north of the rest of the fleet and are poised to outflank all bar Cape Town. Which brings us to our wild card! Having retired from Race 12 on the way into his home port, Cape Town Skipper Roger STEVEN-JENNINGS wanted to prove they could do better. They too were looking at a long term strategy by heading north and had felt the pain by sitting in last place for the past few days, but now the picture looks much brighter. They have already climbed 2 places to overtake Bristol and Liverpool, but their performance over the last 24 hours should almost guarantee a further improvement.
Whilst we in the race office work to local UK time, the boats work on ship's time, which changes as they race around the world. They then relate this back to GMT. With the fleet currently on the same longitude as the UK, ship's time is the same as UK (not counting British Summer Time) for the first time since leaving Liverpool. This means that the 03:00 position reports are exactly that - at 03:00, and there has been a noticeable increase recently in enthusiasm from skippers to delegate this task to the crew.
This actually makes a nice change as the chat with the position reports often gives a different flavour to life on board. This morning however Duty Skipper Adam KYFFIN sent the report from Liverpool himself and his words go some way to express the mixture of frustration and hopefulness on board. "We are unfortunately still stuck in this awful wind hole making sailing very difficult. Looking at the positions the boats in the North appear to have got it right. We are all praying for wind and it might stop me moaning. Hopefully give you more exciting news soon. Nothing to report from other boats apart from not surprisingly Simon (Jersey Skipper) reports a glassy sea!"
Clipper 2002 - Race 13 Positions
||Distance to Finish (nautical miles)