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Clipper Round the World: Fleet pray for prevailing winds

20June2012_Clipper_Round_the_WorldPhoto by Clipper Round the World.

20-June-2012. The ten internationally backed teams competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race continue to tack their way across the North Atlantic Ocean, hard going through the fog and light headwinds that have plagued the fleet over the last 24 hours.

With a firm eye on the weather reports to define their tactics, each team has been working carefully through its sail wardrobe in a bid to catch the breeze and head further north where there is potential for some fast sailing.

The teams to the south have experienced a short burst of long awaited wind overnight which has seen Singapore overtake two of its rivals and move into second place. As the Scoring Gate draws closer the teams will have to consider whether to go for the extra points on offer or concentrate on a more favourable position on the leader board.

In his 0600 report, skipper Ben Bowley, says, “Finally we found some good current and the wind started to veer more rapidly. This has allowed us to tack over and head on the great circle route straight to Derry-Londonderry.

“Conveniently, this course takes just through the southern end of the Scoring Gate too. Over the next 24 hours we shall have to see how we get on with our more easterly course and decide whether to go for the gate at all or to head further east still and set ourselves up better for the next patch of strong winds. The breeze is already filling in nicely and we are currently charging along at around ten knots with single reefed mainsail and Yankee 2. Come on ‘Singas!’

Meanwhile, on board Visit Finland, skipper Olly Osborne reports, “Today has seen a change of fortunes as we have seen the miles slipping away sched by sched to our competitors.” At 0000 UTC last night, the Finnish entry played its Stealth Mode card, which allows its position to be concealed from the rest of the fleet for a period of 24 hours.