Cape Breton Island lead out of Caribbean

After a stormy night in the North Atlantic many of the Clipper teams have emerged licking wounds today.

A large and vicious squall saw wind strength increase dramatically and has left some with damage to sails and equipment and others completely devoid of any wind.

For the Scottish entry, Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, it is the electrics which have taken the hit and left the team temporarily blind to the exact whereabouts and speeds of their closest competitors.

Skipper Matt Pike said: ’24 hours ago we were emerging from the biggest squall since re-entering the Atlantic. Heavy rain, wind and blinding lightning.

‘The squall hit sending us scattering in a desperate attempt to reduce sail. In the middle of this Qingdao flew across our bow within 400 feet just as a close flash of lighting took out our electrics.

‘We waited until the worst had subsided and we deemed it safe to gybe back on course.’

For the Chinese entry which passed so close to Edinburgh Inspiring Capital during the night, the squall has also left its mark.

Its skipper Chris Stanmore-Major said: ‘Around 0200 local time a wall of water and wind, long foretold by ominous black clouds and lightning descended upon us ramping the wind speed up from eight knots to 30 in the space of a minute.

‘The real fun began when the wind suddenly backed through more than 100 degrees causing a violent gybe that carried away the preventer line and the vang.

‘The breaking point of the preventer is approximately 7,000 kilograms, the vang around 10,000 kilograms – around the weight of four family cars.’

Irish entry, Cork, felt the effects of the squall in an entirely different way. Hannah Jenner said: ‘Having started yesterday evening with a few unexpected gains on some of the fleet we promptly got wallowed by a giant wet squall which stole all the wind and has left us drifting ever since. In fact drifting is almost too strong a word as we have been looking at the same piece of land since the early hours of this morning.

‘We have tried all manner of sail combinations and still two knots is about the best we have seen on the speed over ground display – that includes half a knot of current.’

As the teams make their way towards the next scoring gate there is no clear indication of who will take the first points of race 10, with the top five teams separated by just 20 miles.

Positions at 1200 UTC, Friday 28 May

1 Cape Breton Island 825 nm to finish

2 Uniquely Singapore +3nm

3 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital +7nm

4 Qingdao +14nm

5 Hull & Humber +20nm

6 Spirit of Australia +54nm

7 Team Finland +87nm

8 California +112nm

9 Jamaica Lighting Bolt +113nm

10 Cork +171nm