Honkers takes it

As Clipper Round the World Race's epic trans-Pacific leg reaches Japan

Friday March 7th 2003, Author: Loretta Spridgeon, Location: Transoceanic
Hong Kong Clipper crossed the line at 06:54 GMT today as the provisional winner of Race 6 of the Clipper 2002 Round the World Yacht Race, from Hawaii to Yokohama.

After approaching the line at 9 knots with a fair wind, the breeze started to drop. As they approached the line there was then a severe wind shift to the NW. Skipper Justin Taylor said, "Suddenly we found we were headed and not crossing the line as planned and had to put in an unexpected tack. I think we have arrived at the finish at the same time as the low pressure system."

With a second race win under their belts, there will quite justifiably be lots to celebrate aboard Hong Kong Clipper, but with the wind veering markedly what is going to happen to the rest of the fleet? Initially the boats in the west will have a windward advantage, but as it goes round to the north it could well open up the game once again.

It will take Hong Kong Clipper at least 6 hours to make the passage up Tokyo Bay and they are not expected alongside until approximately 14:00 GMT today (23:00 Japanese time). Many congratulations to Justin and his gallant Hong Kong Clipper crew!

And a postscript from Richard Butler aboard Bristol Clipper...

"We didn't get to the finish in time to keep the favourable wind. We have just been headed as the cold front passed over and are now tracking 330 deg, whereas the finish is on 304. It's quite bizarre; because the wind has come round quickly, we have the sea left over from the SE wind so are surfing on the waves, close hauled, making about 8 knots. 28.4 miles to go."

03:00 UTC 7 March 2003

Pos Yacht Distance to Finish (nautical miles)
1 Hong Kong Finished at 06:54 GMT on 07/03/03
2 Bristol 68.40
3 Liverpool 77.35
4 Jersey 82.43
5 Glasgow 106.05
6 London 125.35
7 Cape Town 226.93
8 New York 283.54

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