Clipper Round the World Race: Nova Scotia closes gap with Durban 2010

Tuesday, 09 October 2007

Nova Scotia’s relentless pursuit of Durban 2010 and Beyond has closed the gap to just seven nautical miles between their distances to the finish line, although they are actually approximately 18 nautical miles across the water from each other. This would put them out of sight but certainly not out of mind, as they eagerly await the position reports every six hours and anxiously scan the horizon, especially at night, for any sign of a navigation light or a sail.

The leading two boats are well into the standard latitudes of the ITCZ and are yet to show signs of slowing down. The notorious Doldrums of mirror calm seas and breathless days seem to be a far cry from the steady 8 knots of Durban 2010 and Beyond and Nova Scotia but this is no unexpected accident.

“The route we have taken has been planned and pondered over for many a hot sweaty hour at the nav station. Running wind time sequences hour by hour, and trying to guess our position for each six-hour period for the next five days ahead. It appears as if Nova Scotia has also chosen 30-31 as an optimum crossing longitude - comforting to have a second opinion,” says Durban 2010 and Beyond skipper, Ricky Chalmers.

Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper it seems has also been studying the ITCZ and is maintaining her distance on the leading two, heading for the same crossing point. The chasing pack of Hull & Humber, Liverpool 08 and are all still hitting some great speeds under spinnaker, polling at 11 knots, but perhaps heading for a slightly more easterly crossing point. Those boats further back and to the east of the path taken by most of the fleet seem to be starting to feel the effects of the lighter winds lingering to the south of the Cape Verde Islands.

One positive effect of the ITCZ, which the leading pair has already been experiencing, is the rain! While this often comes with strong winds and a change of wind direction, the welcome deluge of fresh water gives the crew a chance to get on with some washing, both of their clothes and themselves.

Having been racing now for more than two weeks in warm temperatures and close quarters, it will be a relief to everyone on board!

Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper is poised to enter the squall band. “We have the shampoo on deck all ready for the next squall,” they write. “The fresh water pump died in the first week so we have been sweating it out sans douche since La Rochelle. Last night we experienced our first tropical squall. Bring on the next!”

Heather Ewing

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 October 2007 )