Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – The time has passed for either LMAX Exchange or Qingdao to claim a podium position in race two: The Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms.
With both boats racing on elapsed time, they needed to finish within 86 hours and 10 minutes of the first three teams over the line to finish above them in the placings, and that time passed at 0812 UTC this morning.
This means GREAT Britain is confirmed as the race winner with Derry~Londonderry~Doire in second and Garmin third.
With 210 nautical miles to go for LMAX Exchange, and Qingdao in Stealth Mode, it is going to be a tight finish between the two. It is estimated LMAX Exchange will finish at around 0800 UTC (1000 local) on 26 October, and Qingdao at approximately 1200UTC (1400 local) tomorrow, meaning they are anticipated to finish in ninth and 10th respectively.
Simon Rowell, the Clipper Race Meteorologist, described the conditions in the final approach to Cape Town.
“A weak front should be over Qingdao around now, and once it’s passed they should get building south easterly winds. LMAX Exchange will probably see the wind back towards the south east as well, and both of them will then be in roughly the same wind for the final section in. LMAX Exchange will be hard upwind, Qingdao reaching in off the wind – but whether this better angle will be enough to claw back the miles remains to be seen.”
Igor Gotlibovych, Skipper of Qingdao said: “Sailing is not always about fastest speed from A to B. Most readers realize that our route choices are based on picking the more favourable weather – in the next days as well as in the long term.
“The forecasts are notoriously uncertain, and progress is affected by many factors apart from wind strength, and sailing fast towards our destination for a day only to slow down to a pedestrian pace for the next two has to be weighed against sailing a longer route and making little progress at first in anticipation of better winds in a different part of the ocean in the days to follow.
“But now we are finally in fairly steady winds, pointing at Cape Town, with just over a day of sailing left. See you in Cape Town soon!” he added.