New York Clipper has stormed into the lead as the Clipper 2002 fleet race towards Jersey. A single mistyped digit on this morning's position report put the New York team some 40 miles further back and showed Jersey Clipper still in the lead.
Sadly for Simon ROWELL and his crew, this was not the case and with the click of a mouse Ross DANIEL and the New York crew soon appeared in their rightful first place on the Raymarine Raytech charting software used to display positions on the race website.
New York has stuck to a southern course for the last three days, whilst many in the rest of the fleet headed further to the north. This gamble has now paid off and in the last 12 hours they have sailed almost twice as far as the rest of the fleet who are still stuck in the effects of the high pressure described yesterday.
Adam KYFFIN, duty skipper, described the conditions from on board Liverpool Clipper: "Rather a slow day here, hardly moving for most of the day. The light headwinds switched off completely followed by no wind and plenty of squalls."
New York will now wish to head further north to consolidate their lead and to cover the now trailing fleet. They will also want to avoid being stuck out on a limb if the conditions change to favour those in the north and there is some indication this may be happening.
Adam continues: "We have been heading NNE for most of the day, the further North we got the stronger the wind has become and we are currently reaching with LW kite in a NW 2-3. The breeze is more consistent now and we are making reasonable progress. Hopefully the wind will continue to build." He will be speaking for the rest of the fleet with that last remark!
The wind does seem to be filling in from the north. Bristol Clipper reported that they were now moving as the breeze swung to the west and picked up, but noticed that Liverpool who were sailing just to the north of them seemed to feel it first.
In the calm conditions the fleet have bunched up and yet again we find boats match-racing in mid ocean. Richard BUTLER'S diary sums this up with the view from Bristol. "It's been a very slow day. After the sched last night, we continued close-hauled and very quickly caught sight of Jersey Clipper. As the wind headed us further, we tacked north and passed about 3 miles behind them. Liverpool so tacked behind us. We have had Liverpool insight all day, but lost Jersey to the south east."
So Jersey Clipper are now in second. Skipper Simon ROWELL rather wryly commented that he is not a big fan of close quarters ocean racing and that he preferred to have the Atlantic to himself.
The rest of the fleet has also taken a hit, but positions remain the same. London Clipper follows in the footsteps of Liverpool and Bristol, and are just behind on the leader board.
Hong Kong and Cape Town are making the best course they can to the west, whilst Glasgow seem to be heading down towards the south east, perhaps thinking that what worked for New York could work for them. Either way, they will all be desperate for the breeze to pick up again before the days of surfing at 12 knots towards the Jersey finish become a distant memory.
Clipper 2002 - Race 15 Positions
||Dist To Finish (Nautical Miles)