Morale among Derry’s Clipper crew was high yesterday as the team enjoyed consistent winds in the race to Western Australia.
The ‘Derry~Londonderry’ remained in ninth place (of the ten competitors) throughout the weekend but distances between the yachts have been cut dramatically. The fleet is being compressed as a concertina effect comes into play, with the back markers benefiting from stronger winds and the leaders remaining hampered by the lingering high pressure system.
The ‘Derry-Londonderry’, along with ‘Edinburgh Inspiring Capital’, and ‘Visit Finland’ - the three most north westerly boats all logged triple-digit 12-hour runs overnight on Sunday whilst the boats at the front of the pack continued to struggle in light airs.
Derry clipper skipper Mark Light, reported yesterday that “morale is great”, adding that his team had enjoyed very consistent winds, good boat speeds and some decent distances covered in the previous 48 hours.
“We came out of Stealth Mode on our north easterly course looking to skirt around the top end of the large high pressure system only to find that lots of the other boats have decided to follow this same course of action,” Mark said.
“I must admit that when we made up our mind to go for this we were the only ones to show it and that did make me kind of nervous to see us heading in one direction the nine other boats going the other way.
“This now gives us more confidence in our choice of tactics but I can’t help feeling like our ‘little secret’ has been discovered,” Mark said.
The boats towards the back of the fleet will be hoping that they are dealt better conditions for the Ocean Sprint than the leaders.
On Friday the Derry clipper crew took advantage of the light airs to repair their mainsail which was damaged earlier in this race.
And the repairs held up well over the weekend in the wild Southern Ocean.
The captain explained: “We made really good progress on our chosen course with some good distances covered. Our mainsail repair is holding up very well and there is a great feeling of optimism that we can still do very well on this leg. With approximately 1,600nm to run there are still lots of twists and turns to play out.”
The fleet is expected to arrive in Geraldton in Western Australia between October 29 and 31.
Meanwhile, Discovery Channel began screening ‘Against the Tide’, a television documentary about Clipper 09-10, on Discovery, Discovery HD and their +1 counterparts on Sunday at 6pm.