Words / Clipper Race /// Images / Abner Kingman
Race 12 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is now in full swing as the ten-strong fleet of 68-foot ocean racing yachts launched into a competitive ‘Le Mans’-style start out of the Hudson River in New York at 2341 UTC yesterday.
Following the start off Ambrose Lighthouse, Singapore skipper, Ben Bowley, reports, “We have just completed a very picturesque Le Mans start sailing away from the setting sun to kick off Leg 8. Our initial course whilst getting in position, put the boats on a beam reach. However, as soon as the gun went, preparations were underway throughout the fleet to ensure that once the first ten minutes of racing were complete, kites could be hoisted. Almost as one, ten kites inflated and the fleet surged forward; most choosing the medium weight and some choosing the lightweight. We are all now trimming fiendishly to get a little advantage over our competitors who remain within a few boat lengths.”
Gold Coast Australia and Visit Finland are currently leading the way, whilst New York and Derry-Londonderry play catch up after an unsuccessful sail change at the start caused them to lose miles on their rivals.
As the teams settle back into life at sea thoughts about the amazing visit to New York are now turning to what lies ahead and with local winds forecast to shift, the approach to Halifax, Nova Scotia will be highly tactical in a bid to eek out extra miles.
To add to the challenge Stealth Mode periods, Scoring Gate and Ocean Sprint points do not apply in this short 800-mile race, turning the heat up on the tightly packed teams to secure those all-important podium points.
The Clipper Race fleet is expected to arrive in Halifax, Nova Scotia between 11-12 June and will be berthed at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.