Fleet divide

In Clipper Round the World Race as boats line up for Hawaii

Friday January 24th 2003, Author: Loretta Spridgeon, Location: Transoceanic
Race Director, Colin de Mowbray, is contemplating changing his name to Noah. As he prepares to fly out to Oahu to meet the Clipper fleet, it seems that the boats are settling into groups of two on their approach to the Hawaiian Islands.

Jersey and Bristol, the more southerly boats, are enjoying their tussle together. Richard Butler and his crew are not going to give up their fight easily and each report they send mentions every mile lost or gained. In long races like this, it may be difficult to imagine that each small gain makes too much difference. But remember, all of those small gains add up and Jersey's Simon Rowell ought not to relax just yet.

Meanwhile in the middle of the pack, the Liverpudlians are chasing London Clipper. Having made a little separation over the last 24-hours, perhaps skipper Adam will try to 'undertake' the Cockney Clipper. With this being the Londoners' last race with relief skipper Ed Green, we can be sure that they will be trimming their hearts out as they surf those Pacific waves - one to watch!

In the North, the Hong Kong and Glasgow pairing also enjoys this feisty weather. Justin Taylor aboard Hong Kong Clipper yesterday reported the fleet speed record so far of 18.9 knots. Imagine the noise down below as a huge quantity of water surges along the hulls of the boat on surf like this.

Fantastic!

And what of our final pair? News back from both Cape Town and New York Clipper yesterday confirmed that they were having a great time and loving the current conditions. However, they were having to sit on their hands a little as the temptation to hoist fragile spinnakers in these strong winds was getting too much. All is not lost though; all too often boats come roaring towards their next port of call and find themselves in ever decreasing winds...

What a week it has been for the skippers and crew alike!! We have seen some amazing sailing, great speeds and fantastic reports from exhilarated crews.

A bit of easy maths will illustrate the huge distances that the boats have covered in the last seven days. Jersey, London and Bristol have averaged 1,700 nautical miles in seven days (just over 240nm every 24 hours*).

Pretty good going and there are a few fingers leafing through the terms and conditions of their plane tickets because of it!

With New York Clipper having 1614nm to go, we ponder if the whole fleet will arrive at the newly built Ko Olina Marina and Resort before the Clipper Race Office team does?

* For the benefit of those Clipper anoraks out there, the record for the 24-hour run is still held by London Clipper 2000, covering 300nm between Salvador and New York. Well done Stuart Gibson and his crew of Cockney Clipper!

LATEST POSITIONS
04:00, 24 January 2003

Pos Yacht Distance to Finish
1 Jersey 1387 (nautical miles)
2 London 1405
3 Bristol 1411
4 Liverpool 1420.6
5 Hong Kong 1510
6 Glasgow 1517
7 Cape Town 1530
8 New York 1614.72

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