Final three teams expected in Batam tomorrow
Update: Day 32 of Race 7 Gold Coast to Singapore
The final members of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet are expected to arrive in Batam, Indonesia, at midday tomorrow (Wednesday 25th January) ahead of their spectacular arrival in Marina at Keppel Bay, Singapore on Saturday.
Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, Visit Finland and Welcome to Yorkshire are currently making good progress through the South China Sea on the way to the island of Batam and will join the other seven teams taking part in the Clipper Race tomorrow.
“Yesterday as the wind picked up following the tornado squall, we have managed to maintain a generous sail plan and cruise along at over ten knots under sail, doing a very fast and comfortable beam reach,” reveals Gordon Reid, skipper of the Scottish entry.
“There continues to be a large amount of traffic in this busy part of the South China Sea, in particular lots of fishing boats, some of which have no lights displayed at night.
“Last night, with nothing seen visually or on AIS, we sailed along at 10.5 knots until quite literally 100 yards off the port bow, a red light appeared from nowhere. It was a fishing boat, now less than 50 yards away as we passed by it at speed. I suspect that will not be the last close encounter,” continues Edinburgh Inspiring Capital’s skipper.
With less than 24 hours until they reach their destination the crew members are still under intense pressure to keep up concentration.
“Night time sailing is a real challenge with all of the crew having to focus hard on maintaining a good lookout for anything unusual.
“We have completed most of our servicing and maintenance programme and all of our cleaning. All that remains are a few smaller jobs for which we need specialised parts and tools; those will be taken care of in Batam,” adds Gordon.
Meanwhile on board Welcome to Yorkshire, skipper Rupert Dean, reports good morale and strong winds.
“The Force 6 from the north has remained with us and spirits are high as we make fast progress towards Batam Island.
“Powered up sailing conditions make it impossible to do the deep clean, but this is a small price to pay against arriving in port at an earlier time. Besides, sailing is much more fun than motoring!” adds Rupert.
Despite the decent breeze making for good sailing conditions, Visit Finland’s team is still having a crack at finishing off their jobs list.
“We are taking the opportunity to have a go at deep cleaning today,” reports Olly Osborne, the team’s skipper. They are currently around 170 miles from Batam.
“We have been busy scrubbing away at the galley bilges and having a general spring clean. We are hoping to be in Nongsa Point Marina before dusk tomorrow and everyone is keen to experience the luxuries of being ashore. So hopefully we will have most things crossed off the list on arrival, and a cold beer will be very welcome!”
Keep up to date with the Clipper fleet with their race tracker.
Yachting World’s Jonathon Medway will be joining the Crew of Qingdao for Leg 6 of the Clipper race; China to California. Keep an eye out for his blog soon to be launched on yachtingworld.com
Photo: Heather Ewing/onEdition Geraldton Western Australia’s crew arriving in Batam.