A spread Clipper fleet contemplate their next moves as they head for Brazil

YW’s Jonathon Medway will be joining ‘Qingdao’ on Leg 6 of the Clipper round the world journey. Here he reflects on their progress so far:

a difficult start to their campaign I am glad to see my boat ‘Qingdao’ further
up the fleet. Despite losing out on bonus points at the scoring gate, the team
onboard should be much happier as they currently lie in fourth place.

close to the rhumb line is a steady tactic, and I’m sure skipper Ian Conchie
will be looking for a morale boosting top half finish after the eighth place
from race one. Negotiate their way through the doldrums quickly and ‘Qingdao’
could find themselves well in the hunt for a podium finish.

from skippers across the fleet are varied. Derry-Londonderry skipper Mark Light
believes that after putting a fair amount of west in the bank (foregoing the
scoring gate), it is the yachts to the east that now stand to gain the most. “The GRIB files all looked good for the old ‘west is best’ tactic to come
through the Doldrums but after I checked the latest GRIBs today I am now not so
sure. The boats to the east look like they may sneak through with little
trouble and after all our westing we may now find a large area of very light
airs between us and the run to Rio – damn those GRIB files!”

will be fascinating to see how this tactical race plays out- Here’s hoping
Qingdao are still in contention when I get on board in a few months.

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