<I>"Windy day; starting off with light NW and the lightweight, moving on to moderate westerly's and the medium weight, then a good westerly 6 gusting 7 with the heavyweight, followed by a lovely westerly gale with a poled out Yankee 1.
"The wind dropped off a bit the last hour or so, but what looks like a line squall or front is about a mile away from coming over us so hopefully we'll get our westerly gale back."
These winds have been producing good surfing conditions for the fleet. Bristol Clipper reached 17 knots on one wave, whilst Liverpool seems to hold the record with a top speed of 18.4 knots.
The fleet has also hit a favourable current, helping to bump up the overall daily runs. Most yachts have averaged over 9 knots in the last 12 hours, with Hong Kong Clipper just below at 8.8.
Jersey Clipper continues to do well, with Bristol still holding a threatening position. Although only a few miles behind in distance to go, she is taking a more northerly course in the hope of getting a chance to outflank her rivals.
Liverpool Clipper sits just behind Bristol in third place and is also geographically chasing hard with less than 5 miles between them.
Three miles then separate fourth from sixth place. The Glaswegians look to be virtually neck and neck with the New Yorkers a few miles to the south, but interestingly it is London and Hong Kong who share 6th place despite Hong Kong being 20 miles to the north northwest.
Cape Town Clipper continue to be the southern most team and as such are 4 miles further away on the great circle route to the finish.
The crews will need to take advantage of these high speeds as it does not look as if they will continue much beyond the weekend. An area of high pressure is forecast to establish over the north Atlantic by early next week and this could well slow the eight Clippers once more.
Clipper 2002 - Race 15 Positions
||Dist To Finish (Nautical Miles)