Forging ahead

Clipper fleet still heading for Hawaii

Thursday January 23rd 2003, Author: Loretta Spridgeon, Location: Transoceanic
The Clipper fleet frontrunners, Jersey, London and Bristol, have all recorded 24-hour distances above 240 miles as they charge towards Hawaii.

Bristol Clipper achieved the best run of the three with 247.98 miles covered giving them an average speed of 10.3 knots from 04:00 yesterday to 04:00 today. Even Glasgow Clipper the (relatively) slowest boat notched up a 24-hour average of 9.6 knots.

These great speeds will keep morale on board very high as the thrill of feeling these 60ft racers surging along is exhilarating to say the least and time on the helm is very limited as everyone is trying to get a bit of the action and score the biggest surf of the day.

Simon Rowell in Jersey Clipper, who is the Duty Skipper, reported this morning that Hong Kong Clipper had achieved the best score with an 18.9 knot burst recorded.

The huge loads brought about by these fantastic speeds can take their toll the boat and crew however. The guys and sheets controlling the spinnaker need to regularly checked, both in board and outboard, and the mast-monkey needs to climb the mast each day to check wear and tear on both the halyards and the U-bolts holding the spinnaker blocks at the top of the mast.

Climbing to the top of a 70-foot mast with the boat charging along is no mean feat. In fact Jezzer, a crew member on Bristol Clipper, has a few bruises this morning after replacing a U-bolt that failed yesterday. This wear and tear to the U-bolts is a common occurrence, especially when you consider the force 2000 sq foot of material full of wind exerts and the boats carry a number of spares so that worn ones can be replaced before or just after they break.

It looks as though Hawaii will play host to a huge Clipper gathering. Apart from the change over crew, many friends and families also seem to be taking advantage of this wonderful stop over and flying south for the winter. Those arriving by both sea and air are looking forward to the reception that is being laid on at the beautiful Ko Olina Resort and Marina.

But the big question is still "Who will lift the Ko Olina Cup?"

LATEST POSITIONS
04:00, 23 January 2003

Pos Yacht Distance to Finish
1 Jersey 1633.13 (nautical miles)
2 Liverpool 1646.73
3 Bristol 1660.87
4 Liverpool 1668.18
5 Hong Kong 1740.60
6 Glasgow 1749.37
7 Cape Town 1760.42
8 New York 1841.70

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