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Fleet in tight duel upwind in race to Den Helder

09July2012_Clipper_Round_the_WorldPhoto by Clipper Round the World.

09-July-2012. Day 3 of Race 14 to Den Helder in the Netherlands has seen the fleet of ten 68-foot ocean racing yachts competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race tussle in a tight duel upwind where positions remain close.

Gold Coast Australia continues to fight to maintain its lead whilst Visit Finland has made gains on its rivals and moved two places up the leader board into second. With only 12 miles separating the leading five teams, there is still all to play for.

De Lage Laden skipper Stuart Jackson explains, “The racing has been fantastic throughout the night with boats tacking within a few boat lengths of each other. So everyone has had to stay on their game and their seamanship skills have been exemplary.” With two miles currently separating the team from third place, the Dutch entry will be keen to secure a podium win on its return home to the Netherlands.

However this will be no mean feat as the last 24 hours have seen trial and tribulation for the fleet with reports of strong winds and the choppy sea state likened to being in a washing machine. Seasickness has also swept across the fleet and in the upwind conditions, the crew members on board have been working hard on double watches, performing  relentless sail changes in a bid to keep pace.

Crewed by ‘people like you’ the Clipper Race offers the challenge of a lifetime to circumnavigate the world for people from all walks of life. The fleet is expected to arrive in Den Helder in the Netherlands between 11-13 July and will set off on its final race back to Southampton on 19 July, finishing in the Solent on Sunday 22 July.