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Clipper 2017-18 Race Leg 1: Liverpool to Punta del Este - Day 24

by Clipper Race 13 Sep 2017 15:02 BST 13 September 2017

Cementing a fifth day at the top of the leader board Visit Seattle has extended its lead over Sanya Serenity Coast and Unicef in second and third place respectively. With less than 2000nM to go to Punta del Este the fleet continue to live life at a lean whilst racing hard upwind.

The leading teams have now crossed the finish line of the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint but points will only be awarded to the top three teams with the shortest elapsed time once all teams have declared. This provides an excellent opportunity for teams towards the back of the fleet to pick up some extra points.

Skipper of Visit Seattle, Nikki Henderson said "Feeling proud of the crew today for all their hard work over the last approximately 30 hours for working together to make our trusty steed go as fast as they could - we saw some pretty good speeds.

For HotelPlanner.com, currently in fourth, the crew are hoping that they have done enough in the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint to gain some extra points. With Skipper Conall Morrison saying: "Our progress south remains as steady as the South East Trade Winds that push us. Tonight, I have been on deck very little as the team seem to have everything in hand, nearly all crew have been helming and the boat is in good shape."

A small battle continues in the middle of the pack, GREAT Britain are holding onto fifth place, with PSP Logistics holding on to sixth position from Qingdao in seventh. PSP Logistics Skipper, Roy Taylor, said: "It continues to be a little squally down this coastline but with 2000nM to run spirits are still high and the prospect of gaining or losing a place is keeping the team focused, as is the thoughts of shore-side activities."

With just 12nM separating eighth-placed Liverpool 2018 and ninth-placed Garmin both teams have seen wind strength increase and squally activity testing the skills of the crew. Garmin Skipper Gaetan Thomas said: "The conditions are a fine reach, with some waves coming from the side which roll the boat and means some effort is required for the drivers to hold the course and to anticipate it.

"From where we came, from the last levels of training and then the delivery to Liverpool, to now, the evolution is beautiful to watch, I am proud of my team."

Dare To Lead in tenth continues to make good progress to the finish of the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint, meanwhile, it was a momentous day for both Greenings and Nasdaq, in eleventh and twelfth respectively, as they crossed the equator. Rob Graham, Nasdaq Skipper, said: "We had a special moment for everyone yesterday, when Nasdaq crossed the equator at 30 13.6W, just as the sun was setting in a cloudless sky."

Many of the teams after ticking off some of the main tactical and navigational challenges of Race 1 since leaving Liverpool including the Doldrums Corridor, Scoring Gate, Equator Crossing and now the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint as they look forward to their arrival in Punta del Este.

In the meantime, Simon Rowell, the Clipper Race Meteorologist, reports that there is a continuing train of Trade Wind cumulus coming in and squalls are expected to continue. In addition, the Trade Winds look to be increasing over the next 24 hours so the Clipper Race Crew will need to be braced for more of the same hard upwind sailing conditions.

To read all the Skipper reports in full, and also read the Crew Diaries for insightful views into life on board, visit the Clipper Race Team Pages.

To stay up to date with the fleet's positions keep a close eye on the Clipper Race Viewer. All positions correct at time of writing.

Poole sailor to take over from injured Skipper in Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race

Andy Woodruff, 41, from Poole, Dorset, has been appointed as the interim Skipper for the Greenings team in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet.

Joining the team in Punta del Este, Uruguay, at the end of September, Andy will provide relief cover for Skipper David Hartshorn who was subject to a helicopter medevac during the opening leg of the race following a serious hand injury.

On his new role, Andy, who already has over 60,000 nautical miles in his log-book, commented: "It is a great honour to be joining such a prestigious global event as the Clipper Race. My aim is to continue the fantastic work that David Hartshorn has started on board Greenings. It is clear his team has placed an impressive emphasis on its personal development, which is something I have also valued very highly in my own sailing career.

"I believe it is important that the crew get the most out of this experience as possible, not just on the leaderboard but also within themselves, though of course I am keen to get them as many points as possible in the process. My aim is to contribute to producing a team that is as happy to go sailing as they are to come ashore."

The Clipper Race is the only event of its kind in the world which trains everyday people to become ocean racers. Only the Skipper on board each of the twelve teams is professional.

Having grown in popularity over the years, 712 international crew members will take part in this edition and with over 40 different nationalities represented on the race, this is the biggest yet of its eleven editions.

Andy is well-known on the international sailing scene having trained with the GBR Challenge for the Americas Cup in 2001/02 with Skipper, Ian Walker. He has also operated his own 63ft charter sailing company for eight years in the British Virgin Islands, where he was also capped as an international rugby player. For the past eleven months he has been running Training and Event courses at the Clipper Race's Gosport, Hampshire, HQ.

On Andy's appointment, Clipper Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail single handed, non-stop, around the world in 1968-69, said: "Stepping in as an interim Skipper once a team has already been performing together is perhaps an added challenge, but Andy Woodruff has fully embraced this opportunity to lead the Greenings team until David Hartshorn is well enough to return.

"We all wish David a speedy recovery. In the meantime, I'm confident that Andy will do an excellent job, and myself and my team will fully support him in his role."

The Clipper 2017-18 Race started from Liverpool, UK, on Sunday 20 August and will take approximately eleven months to complete, taking in six continents and crossing 40,000 nautical miles of the world's major oceans.

The race route is split into eight separate legs. Leg 2, the 3,560Nm South Atlantic Challenge, from Uruguay to Cape Town, will start on 4 October 2017 and will take approximately 17 days to complete.

From Cape Town, the Clipper Race will continue on to Fremantle, Western Australia; Sydney; Hobart; the Whitsundays; Sanya and Qingdao in China; Seattle, USA; Panama; New York; and Derry Londonderry, before returning to Liverpool on 28 July, 2018.

www.clipperroundtheworld.com

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