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Clipper Race Dell Latitude Rugged Race: Cape Town to Fremantle - Day 1

by Clipper Ventures on 1 Nov 1 November 2017
Clipper 2017-18 Race 3: The Dell Latitude Rugged Race © Clipper Ventures

Though the tactics for Race 3: The Dell Latitude Rugged Race across the Southern Ocean are in full swing, the thoughts of the fleet are very much with Greenings, after the boat ran aground last night, shortly after leaving Cape Town, South Africa.

The Skipper and crew of Greenings were unhurt in the incident and have been relocated to accommodation in Cape Town, after being safely evacuated from the boat by South Africa's National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

Greenings ran aground on the western side of Cape Peninsula, which sits roughly halfway between Cape Town and Cape Point at approximately 2140 UTC (2340 local time) on Tuesday 31 October.

After hearing of the incident, Rob Graham, Skipper of the currently tenth placed Nasdaq, said: "Pleased to hear that everybody on board was unhurt and got back to land safely." Skipper Conall Morrison, whose team is eighth, added: "It was awful news to hear about Greenings grounding last night, and everyone on board feels for the crew and are wishing that they are all ok."

Clipper Race Director Mark Light and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston are currently inspecting the boat and for further updates, please keep an eye on the Clipper Race Website.

Sanya Serenity Coast is currently leading the way in Race 3: The Dell Latitude Rugged Race, and has a 28 nautical mile advantage on the second placed Dare To Lead. With its spinnaker flying, Sanya Serenity Coast was first to the first mark after crossing the start line in Cape Town's Table Bay, and Skipper Wendy Tuck says: "Well, what a start it was. The team was pumped and it showed in the teamwork in the first 18 hours - it has been amazing.

"The breeze was light and then all over the place a few hours after the start, so sails were going up and down. It's great to be back out here."

Dare To Lead was first across the start line yesterday, but had to use all the Skipper's local knowledge of the waters around Cape Town to move into second place, as Dale Smyth reports: "We had a frustrating start in Table Bay with very fickle wind and a botched spinnaker hoist. But we quickly got going and back up to second, and have started to pick up the promised north-westerly winds, which have given us a fast run south."

PSP Logistics, under the leadership of new Skipper Matt Mitchell is right on Dare To Lead's tail, less than 1 nautical mile behind in third. Whilst the team's progress slowed overnight after a tangle with a turtle (which was unharmed), Matt is pleased with the race so far, commenting: "The start was a good one with light and challenging airs and we ended up being second around the last mark, and fourth out of the bay where more light winds challenged the fleet. With a bit of a lucky break, we managed to gain a place and break off in a group of three, ahead of the rest of the pack."

With just nine nautical miles separating second from the ninth placed Liverpool 2018, racing after day one in the Dell Latitude Rugged Race is extremely tight. The fourth placed Visit Seattle was briefly stuck in a wind hole off Clifton Bay with Qingdao, who is currently sixth behind Garmin. Both teams have since re-found the wind, though Visit Seattle Skipper Nikki Henderson says: "It will be interesting to see how the next 12 to 24 hours plays out with the wind forecast to die and shift round to the east. Fingers crossed we have got ourselves in a good position."

With the teams so close, there is no time for rest on board, as Andy Burns, the Skipper of the seventh placed GREAT Britain, explains: "We have completed more sail changes in the last 18 hours than I think we completed in the whole of Leg 2. We currently have Liverpool 2018 500 metres behind us, and 500 metres on our beam. It just shows what a competitive fleet we have."

Unicef is currently 87 nautical miles off the pace in eleventh place after being asked by the Clipper Race Director Mark Light to standby and assist Greenings. With the situation under control, Unicef has resumed racing.

Whilst the teams should find the wind backing and easing today, they will start to get their first taste of the Southern Ocean and Roaring Forties in the coming days, as Clipper Race Meteorologist Simon Rowell reports: "The wind should settle and build east-northeast tomorrow, driving in between the next low and the high to the south.

"This will get quite strong too, gusting into the 40 knots tomorrow, with the front on Friday gusting into the 50's before backing rapidly northwest."

To follow the progress of the Clipper Race Fleet during Race 3: The Dell Latitude Rugged Race, please keep an eye on the Race Viewer.

Visit the Team Pages to read the Skipper Blogs in full and to see what the crew are writing about in the Crew Blogs. All data correct at time of publishing.

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