Please select your home edition
Edition
Clipper Ventures
JOIN THE RACE JOIN THE 2019-20 RACE MAGAZINE DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL SOUVENIR RACE MAGAZINE Check out the latest photo galleries from The Clipper Race
UNICEF ABOUT UNICEF

The Clipper Race Leg 1 - Race 2, Day 26

by Clipper Round the World Race 11 Oct 2019 13:53 BST 11 October 2019
Working hard on board Imagine your Korea - The Clipper Race Leg 1 - Race 2, Day 26 © Clipper Race

After 26 days and over 5,000 nautical miles of racing, the winner of Race 2: The Commodore's Cup to Punta del Este, Uruguay, is expected to be decided today. But who will the winner be, Qingdao or Visit Sanya, China?

With less than 80 nautical miles (nm) to the finish line at Yacht Club Punta del Este, Qingdao has extended its lead to 14nm over the second placed Visit Sanya, setting up a nail-biting finish to the race across the Atlantic Ocean.

As just hours remain in the race, both teams are doing everything possible to increase boat speed. Visit Sanya Skipper Seumas Kellock said: "We had had a good night under the Code 2 Spinnaker and made great miles towards the finish. Then, as forecast, the wind slowly but surely eased and eased and eased.

"Then came the time for us to test out almost all our sails. Within 2 to 3 hours, we went from Code 2 to Yankee 1 and Staysail, then to Windseeker, then moving onto Code 1, all the while being baffled by Qingdao's seemingly out of this world speed (only 7 knots, but when we were doing 3 knots, it looks really fast)."

Whilst the top two spots are likely to be decided today, the majority of other positions in Race 2 are all still to play for. Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam is in third place for the fourteenth consecutive day and has an 84nm lead over the fourth placed Dare To Lead. But the forecast could change that, as explained by Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam Skipper Josh Stickland: "My First Mate Hugo and I are scratching our heads a little trying to work out the best way to negotiate the wind hole that will engulf us in the coming 24 hours, so as you sit down to your lunch today, please think of us as we frantically change from sail to sail, eeking out as much speed out of this little boat."

The fight for fifth is also heating up. Currently, there is just 23nm between the fifth placed Zhuhai and Unicef in seventh, with Seattle in sixth. And with the wind building, resulting in boat speeds in the double digits, the crew are being put through their paces, as Zhuhai Skipper Nick Leggatt reported: "The wind had built to near gale force, with much stronger gusts, rough seas and short, steep waves.

In the darkness of the night, Zhuhai came thundering down one of the waves as the wave crest broke, spinning her broadside to the wind in a classic broach. She lay almost on her beam ends with sails flapping for what seemed an eternity. The crew handled the situation very well, dumping the vang to depower the Mainsail and tending the sheets until Zhuhai righted herself and sped down the next wave at over 19 knots.

"But, by then I had decided that discretion is really the better part of valour and called for a sail change. It was never going to be easy in the prevailing conditions, but when the spinnaker tack failed to trip at the required moment during the sail change, things really did get a bit spicy on deck for a while. All credit to the crew for getting an interesting situation under control in the darkness of the night during a gale, and then simply commenting "Code 2 down, Yankee 1 up", as if nothing untoward had happened."

WTC Logistics, currently in ninth and hot on the heels of Punta del Este, reported similar conditions. Skipper Mark Bukes said: "We are barreling along, having changed our Code 2 Spinnaker for our Code 3 Spinnaker about two hours ago as the wind increased and the sea state built, suggesting the GRIBs forecasting 30 knots were accurate. Boat speed has rarely dipped below 13 knots, with 18 knots the fastest so far with true wind at 28 knots and the boat bucking and kicking along.

"Our foray south seems to have done us well, but everyone is now going quickly, so whilst the miles to finish fall quickly, we know everyone will be pushing hard."

Who will win Race 2? Keep an eye on the Clipper Race Viewer and Clipper Race channels for all the updates and latest ETAs. All arrivals will also be shown on Clipper Race Facebook Live so tune in to see the crew finish their epic crossing of the Atlantic Ocean!

Related Articles

Two decades of environmental protection
Marina de Portimão has achieved 20 consecutive years of Blue Flag recognition As the first stopover in the Clipper 2019-20 Race, Marina de Portimão was a welcome respite, with its sparkling, clean waters and care and attention made to its natural surroundings. Posted on 4 Jul
Meet the Clipper Race crew: Terri Fisher
In just four days Terri went from Clipper Race fan to Clipper Race Crew Terri lives in the Northern Irish city of Derry-Londonderry and is affectionately known to her teammates as 'Terri From Derry'. Her road to joining the Clipper Race was a short one. Posted on 28 Jun
A sneak preview of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
What the future Host Port Partner has in store for when the Clipper Race visits One Race Crew member got a sneak preview of what future Host Port Partner Ha Long Bay, Vietnam has in store for when the Clipper Race visits the city in spring 2023. Posted on 27 Jun
Anything but plain sailing through the Caribbean
The race from Panama through the Caribbean Sea is a far stretch from a holiday on the relaxed paced The race from Panama through the Caribbean Sea is a far stretch from a holiday on the relaxed paced, tropical islands the Clipper Race teams will traverse. Posted on 21 Jun
A message from Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez
Continuing to do a fantastic job of looking after the Clipper fleet in Subic Bay Punta del Este Skipper, Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez continues to do a fantastic job of looking after the fleet in Subic Bay, Philippines. He has been maintaining the yachts and keeping them secure ready for the crew to return in February 2021. Posted on 13 Jun
Tropical Squall: Pot of trouble or welcome relief?
Temperatures can soar as the route sees crew racing through the tropics During the Clipper Race Circumnavigation, temperatures can soar as the route sees crew racing through the tropics and across the equator. Posted on 7 Jun
Clipper Round the World Race: A look back
Bill Lyons circumnavigated the world in the Clipper 2017-18 Race - today she reflects on her blog. Bill Lyons reflects on her blog written during Leg 7 of the 2017/18 Clipper Round The World Race: "It doesn't feel like two years ago! The race was such an affecting experience that it still feels quite fresh." Posted on 6 Jun
Experience an engineering marvel: The Panama Canal
Passage through the Panama Canal is a bucket list highlight For everyone taking part in the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race, the passage through the Panama Canal is a bucket list highlight. Posted on 30 May
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: Sailing Legend
Feature-length sailing documentary film chronicling the extraordinary man A feature-length sailing documentary film chronicling the extraordinary life, career and record-breaking voyage of the legendary ocean racer and adventurer Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. Posted on 17 May
Earth Day: A spotlight on sustainable practices
Clipper Race aims to create a greater link between communities and the ocean In celebration of Earth Day 2020, we are shining a spotlight on Clipper Race Partners who remain committed to implementing sustainable practices throughout their businesses. Posted on 26 Apr