This weekend I am packing my things at home, making the last arrangements for being away for 6 months. A month travelling from south Australia to Airlie Beach in the north east, 4 months sailing the oceans and another month working at my company offices in Iowa.
Earlier this week all boats cleared the Ocean Sprint challenge in which they can earn additional points for being the fastest between two lines. The results were 37 hours 47 minutes for LMAX Exchange, 37 hours 54 minutes for Garmin and 38 hours 19 minutes for GREAT Britain. Unicef’s time was 48 hours 57 minutes which was not a bad afford as the conditions were different for them. Continue reading
Clipper Unicef skipper Jim Prendergast has had medical treatment for kidney stones and has been temporarily replaced by Martin “Cloughy” Clough. It is sad that Jim will likely not be racing in the Hobart Race. We all wish him a speedy recovery and I hope to see him in Airlie Beach for the start of leg 5 to Da Nang and Qingdao.
The fleet left Albany on Tuesday 1st December after a Parade of Sail while an aerobatic display was performed overhead. Apparently the bars and restaurants trebled their turnover and many of the hotels were fully booked. Another successful stopover performed by the teams.
Big fronts continue to catch-up with the fleet which now looks like a straight line of dots on the Race Standings map. Conditions remain difficult with short periods of respite when there is no wind to keep the sails filled. One of the skippers reported that it is getting a little warmer as they are slowly turning northerly which must be a great feeling. It does show how much south they have been as it is 22 oC in Albany during the day.