The Clipper fleet forges on with the leading yacht just over 700 miles to the finish and all covering at least 220 miles each day
This time Glasgow and Hong Kong in the north of the pack have come out on top of the class. These two have been in sight of one another and will be hoping that the front four, who are to the WSW, will start to lose their wind. They have around 100 miles to catch up and although this may seem a tall order, the wind will not hold out and, with the effect the islands will also have on the positions, nothing is impossible.
The first four boats are fanned out on a 65-mile front with only 36 miles separating them on a ‘Distance to Finish’ basis. With just over 700 miles to go they are positioned for an immensely exciting finish and the order is certain to change several times over the next few days.
The fleet have done well to have brought the wind with them this far, but it will die over the next 48-hours and there will be a lull before the next weather pattern sweeps in at the end of the week.
The finishing line is at Ko Olina Resort and Marina on the south west corner of Oahu and the debates on how to approach it will be in full swing amongst the crews.
The leading boat will have the toughest decision knowing that those chasing will take the other alternatives to try and get past. Jersey Clipper may have been leading for the last 16 days and 3,000 miles, but this will only be a happy memory unless they get the strategy right now. The decision time for this will be with them very shortly and promises to be like starting a new game altogether.
Sam Fuller in New York Clipper also thinks that the North holds the key. They committed themselves to this policy yesterday, as they saw no future in following the tracks of the leaders. They are presently enjoying surfing with white sails with up to 28-knots of wind on the beam.
The stage is now set for another dramatically close finish.
1 Jersey 718 (nautical miles to finish) 2 Bristol 739 3 London 748 4 Liverpool 755 5 Glasgow 847 6 Hong Kong 849 7 Cape Town 879 8 New York 993
Clipper Press Centre