Please select your home edition
Edition
Fever-Tree 728x90
JOIN THE RACE JOIN THE 2017-18 RACE MAGAZINE DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL SOUVENIR RACE MAGAZINE Check out the latest photo galleries from the Clipper 2015-16 Race
UNICEF ABOUT UNICEF

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 8 Day 9: Stealthy tactics and scoring gate points

by The Clipper Race 13 Mar 11:42 GMT 13 March 2018
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 8: The Sailing City Qingdao Cup, Day 9 © Clipper Race

The race to Qingdao is reaching its climax and the Clipper Race teams are pulling out all the stops to gain a tactical advantage in the final stage of Race 8: The Sailing City Qingdao Cup. Stealth Mode has been the order of the day with Skippers using the option, before there is 250 nautical miles to go, to hide their positions from each other in this final approach.

The Scoring Gate points have been announced, with three points awarded to Qingdao, which is currently in Stealth Mode. GREAT Britain re-emerged from its own invisibility cloak having been the second boat to cross the gate so will claim two bonus points.

GREAT Britain Skipper David Hartshorn says: "Did you miss us as we played hide and seek over the last 24 hours? We found the Scoring Gate, and like Captain Scott found someone else had got there before us, well done Chris and the Qingdao crew."

No other teams opted for the Scoring Gate, choosing instead to focus on race position, and it's PSP Logistics who once again leads the race to Qingdao for the seventh consecutive day. Skipper Matt Mitchell is enjoying the conditions but not taking anything for granted, saying: "Well, this is much more like it. Lovely sunshine, a flat boat and much quieter on the fishing boat front. We now have 270 nautical miles (nm) to go but with the next pack behind hot on our heels this race is far from over."

Whilst Qingdao is in Stealth mode, Visit Seattle is less than 30nm behind the leaders. Skipper Nikki Henderson has been reflecting on how far the Clipper Race Skippers have come since starting work a year ago, and says that the conditions on this race have not always been what she imagined: "When I pictured entering the Yellow Sea I imagined an upwind slog, a grey day, thrashing rain - even greyer sea - instead we have today... bright, bright blue sky with not a cloud in sight, flat as flat sea with downwind sailing under our spinnaker. Someone up there who is friends with Mother Nature is clearly on our side."

Less than 20nm further behind, Sanya Serenity Coast is in a close fought battle with Liverpool 2018 and Skipper Wendy Tuck is keen to make the most of having played the team's Joker Card. This morning, she reports: "We are still under kite and we sailed with Liverpool 2018 for most of the night. It is nice to have someone nearby, even if it is just to chat about how taxing it is to stay on such a lookout all the time. If we were worried I wonder how the captains of the container ships feel as they try and meander through."

With Qingdao and Garmin currently in Stealth Mode, it is Nasdaq that is leading the chasing pack, around 80nm further behind. Skipper Rob Graham will have to wait and see if the redress that it was awarded (along with Qingdao) earlier in the race will affect its final position but for now is focussed on the task in hand. He reports: "Progress is good and comfortable. We're matching course and speed with Dare To Lead, on AIS nearby and we have under 400nm to those Qingdao / Tsingtao beers."

A further 35nm behind this pack is Unicef, which is holding off a challenge from HotelPlanner.com, which is less than five nautical miles away. The latter's Skipper, Conall Morrison, reports: "Early morning saw an un-forecasted wind change and then back to spinnaker weather where we closed the gap to Unicef. They are keeping us honest watching our trim and sailing angles, however they seem to have a slight speed edge and we continue to search for solutions."

He adds that the crew have been able to successfully navigate fishing waters, explaining: "With good communications from below and using the Liverpool 2018 hailer system installed in Hobart we successfully managed to wriggle through without getting too close to any. The crew performed well identifying lights with the hand-bearing compass and adjusting course and trimming sails as directed by our keen navigation team of Carsten Busk and Tom Parker."

With less than 48 hours to go before the Clipper Race fleet arrives into Qingdao, there are some local weather differences expected around the large cluster of low cumulus, causing some teams to return to white sails from spinnakers.

Keep up to date with how the winds affect the fleet via the Clipper Race Viewer and hear more from the Skippers and crew on the Team Pages. Remember to nominate which team you think deserves to win the Stormhoek Social Spirit Award.

The latest Estimated Time of Arrivals can be found on the Clipper Race website.

This will be the seventh time the Clipper Race has included Qingdao as a Host Port on its global racing route, with the city the longest serving Host Port Partner of the race. For the first time, Clipper Race crews will berth at the newly constructed Wanda Yacht Club, a state of the art facility in western Qingdao. To learn more about what the teams can expect in Qingdao, visit the Host Port page.

Related Articles

Double prize giving celebrations in New York
Following the completion of the penultimate Clipper Race leg Following the completion of the penultimate leg of the circumnavigation, which was made up of two races, the Clipper Race held a double Prize Giving celebration on Saturday night in New Jersey, USA. Posted on 17 Jun
A night of arrivals into city that never sleeps
Clipper Race fleet continued to arrive into New York throughout the night Following the arrival of Race 11 leaders PSP Logistics, Sanya Serenity Coast and GREAT Britain, the Clipper Race fleet continued to arrive into New York throughout the night. Posted on 15 Jun
Clipper Race Founder celebrates 50 years voyage
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston bid farewell to his parents and the comforts of land At 13:45 on June 14, 1968, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston bid farewell to his parents and the comforts of land, not knowing when he would see either again. As has been well told over the years Posted on 14 Jun
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 11, day 11
PSP Logistics has powered home to take victory The PSP Logistics team, skippered by Matt Mitchell, crossed the finish line off the east coast of the USA at 14:41UTC on 13 June to claim its second win of the 2017-18 edition. Posted on 14 Jun
Queues in Falmouth streets and book sells out
At Knox-Johnston on Seamanship & Seafaring launch Celebrating 50 years since Robin Knox-Johnston set off on his historic voyage from Falmouth, Fernhurst Books published Sir Robin's latest book as part of the Suhaili 50 celebrations and Golden Globe 2018 race. Posted on 14 Jun
PSP Logistics powers through to win race to NY
PSP Logistics has powered to victory in Race 11 of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race PSP Logistics has powered to victory in Race 11 of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race; a ten-day 1,800 nautical mile dash from Panama to New York. Posted on 14 Jun
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 11, day 10
The end of Race 11 is set to be a close one The Clipper Race fleet leading pack has entered what should be the final 24 hours of Race 11: Nasdaq Race from Panama to New York, but finishing positions are still very much up for grabs. Posted on 13 Jun
Queen's Birthday celebrations in Panama
British Embassy hosted an event to celebrate The Queen's Birthday During the recent stopover in Panama, the British Embassy hosted an event to celebrate The Queen's Birthday and its Sport is GREAT Britain week using the Clipper Race team entry GREAT Britain as a focal point. Posted on 13 Jun
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 11, day 9
Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint is far from over Whilst the entire fleet is yet to complete the sprint, it currently looks as though Nasdaq and Garmin are battling for the maximum three bonus points on offer. Posted on 12 Jun
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 11, day 8
Final chance for bonus points in the race to New York is underway PSP Logistics has held onto first place for its fourth consecutive day and is enjoying that the breeze is strengthening just in time for the sprint. Posted on 11 Jun