LMAX Exchange and Qingdao are sailing close hauled in the final 500 nautical miles to Cape Town, making good speed of 10.8 and 9.1 knots respectively on their very different routes to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race finish.

Unicef has crossed the finish line this morning at 0816 UTC.

Igor Gotlibovych, Skipper of Qingdao, described the tactics deployed by it and LMAX Exchange.

“With less than 500 nautical miles to go, the wind isn’t really following the forecast and we are sailing close-hauled where we were expecting to be hoisting the spinnaker.

“In our ‘match race’ with LMAX Exchange, we are now further apart than we are away from the finish – our final route into Cape Town couldn’t be more different. Still everything to play for and watching the weather developments with curiosity.”

As of 0700 UTC, 430 nautical miles remained until the finish for LMAX Exchange, and 490 nautical miles for Qingdao.

Estimating the overall race standings, Race Director Justin Taylor updates: “Based on average speed so far LMAX Exchange is currently in eighth place and Qingdao is tenth. Although Qingdao took a dive to the south in order to avoid the high pressure system, it has still encountered light and fickle winds last night. LMAX Exchange decided to bite the bullet and go for the more direct route to Cape Town and has inevitably hit the light winds of that high.”

This race is being run on an elapsed time basis and the final positions and points will be awarded in ascending elapsed time. The shortest time wins. This is to account for the late start of LMAX Exchange and Qingdao after repairs following damage caused outside of racing during the stopover in Brazil. They started three days 14 hours and ten minutes after the rest of the fleet.

For ETAs to Cape Town, click here.

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Background: The 40,000 mile Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race began in London, UK on August 30 for the fleet of twelve identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. The series is divided into 16 individual races, with the team with the best cumulative score winning the Clipper Race Trophy. Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew.

The second leg started October 7 and takes the fleet 3387 nm from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, South Africa. The fleet is due into Cape Town between October 21 and 25 and will be berthed at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront until October 31.

The ports along the race route are Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Cape Town, South Africa; Albany, Sydney, Hobart and Airlie Beach, Australia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Qingdao, China; Seattle, USA; Panama; New York, USA; Derry-Londonderry, Ireland; and Den Helder, Netherlands before returning to London by late July.

CLIPPER ROUTE

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