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Clipper Round the World: De Lage Landen sets new time to beat in Ocean Sprint

27June2012_Americas_CupPhoto by Clipper Round the World.

27-June-2012. As the depression caused by ex-tropical storm ‘Chris’ continues to slowly move north west of Ireland, the ten-strong fleet of ocean racing yachts participating in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race has had a mixed bag of weather in the last 24 hours. Potential still remains for a re-shuffle of positions on the leader board.

Drawing closer to the ‘Emerald Isle’ on a scattered course through the North Atlantic, Gold Coast Australia, Singapore and Welcome to Yorkshire are clinging on to their respective current podium positions.

Yesterday, De Lage Landen completed the Ocean Sprint and has stripped Gold Coast Australia of its time to beat, finishing the sprint an hour and 30 minutes faster than the Australian entry. The new time to beat is 11 hours 57 minutes and 41 seconds and the team to complete the set course the fastest will be awarded the additional point on offer.

Meanwhile home port team Derry-Londonderry’s decision to change its tactics and head south east has had the desired effect, enjoying strong winds and closing the gap on its rivals.

On board, skipper Mark Light, reports, “We came south in search of wind and boy have we found it! Our plan was to chase the low pressure system all the way to Ireland ‘hanging onto the coat tails’ as it were. Well, we have been clinging on with clenched fists, white knuckles, every sinew and bit of strength we have.

“Roller-coaster ride does not do this justice at all. We have seen gusts just over 50 knots true and established 40 knot gradient winds on the beam and just aft of us.

“So far we have eaten up the miles, just what we need in order to improve our race position and ETA into Derry-Londonderry. I know we will have special people waiting for us (all ‘Legenderry’) and we are doing all we can pushing very hard to make sure we catch them before they leave!”

To conceal its tactics Edinburgh Inspiring Capital entered into Stealth Mode overnight and will race under the cloak of invisibility until midnight, where its position will be revealed to the rest of the fleet.

The leading yachts of the Clipper Race fleet are set to start arriving into Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, between 29 June and 1 July.