This has been my first week racing onboard Clipper UNICEF which started with some very unexpected events even before we set-off on our journey to Da Nang. The Friday before the start the team said goodbye to the skipper of leg 4 and we had a team meeting with the original skipper now returned from his medical procedure in the UK. We agreed objectives for the next leg and how we would work together as a team, prepared the boat for the Monday departure at 12:00.
At 10:30 on Monday we were told that our returning skipper had decided not to continue and we were to get a new skipper and another race assistant to complete leg 5 of the race to Da Nang and onto Qingdao where the leg 4 replacement skipper would return to complete the rest of the race on Unicef.
Confused? Well you are not alone.
This week has been full of unexpected and exiting events. Ships have been arriving in Rio de Janeiro all week, LMAX Exchange ran aground after finishing first in Rio, Unicef had a difficult broach and the race is shortened for the stragglers.
Unicef remains in a small group of boats at the rear of the pack. It seems that the boats in the front are getting all the strong winds and there is nothing left by the time the rear of the fleet reaches the area. But maybe I am too biased to consider other reasons. Continue reading
This week the fleet of Clipper yachts have crossed the half-way mark of their journey to Rio de Janeiro with Unicef approx. 700 miles behind the leader. It is also the week the teams can score extra points and skipper tactics and strategy are therefore becoming even more important.
This week started with the shocking news that “IchorCoal” had a terrible fatal accident to crew member Andrew Ashman on Saturday morning while the team were reefing the mainsail. The boat diverted to Oporto in Portugal and a team of Clipper including Sir Robin Knox-Johnson flew out to meet the team.