149. The Atlantic Homecoming Leg.

Here is what some of the official Clipper website has to say about what’s coming next.

“While this might be the homeward bound leg there is plenty of racing still to be done. With an Atlantic crossing and an emotional homecoming, this is one of the most sought-after legs of the Race.And, with almost 40,000 miles of racing already behind you, there are still valuable racing points to be won. The podium places on the overall Race have been decided on the last race of Leg 8 on the last three Clipper Race editions.

The weather might be mixed but the competition is hot, with teams battling it out for the final race points. The New York to Londonderry race takes you north and a check on sea water temperatures will tell whether yachts are getting a helping push from the Gulf Stream. A further check will tell you when it gives way to the cooler Labrador Current and the mixture in seawater temperatures often produces unpredictable fog banks. It may feel like familiar ground but don’t take this mighty ocean for granted. You need to stay focussed, race hard and race safe. The route will have waypoints to avoid any risk of ice, even at this time of the year, and will take the Fleet close to the Flemish Cap, a fishing ground made famous by the book and film, The Perfect Storm. Then its a 2000 mile blast back towards Europe and one if the warmest welcomes of the race in Ireland.”

For my part I’m certainly not about to underestimate the North Atlantic, even in the summer. Two of the biggest waves I have ever encountered were in the North Atlantic; in the South west approaches in HMS FALMOUTH and the North West approaches in HMS NEWCASTLE, and both were big enough to damage the ship. Two days ago we learnt that Colin Golder, skipper and owner of Morgan of Marietta, competing in the Newport to Bermuda race, went overboard 325 miles from Bermuda in heavy seas. He did not survive but his body was recovered.

We spent most of yesterday on final sail repair/maintenance and packing/storing our 21 days of provisions plus checking and repacking lifejackets and filling our fresh water tanks. We also completed our Race 14 crew brief. For my own part as Team Coordinator I had already published the bunk allocations for this race and the jobs rota from sailing (this morning) through to the arrival window {and a little beyond just in case).

and last night we all had a relatively quiet night ahead of an early start – it is currently 0540 in the morning here.

We sail this morning shortly after 0900, straight into a Parade of Sail between Jersey City and Manhattan, which we will lead, and then we have a 110 mike motor/sail transit to the start line out in the North Atlantic clear of shipping lanes.

The Fleet will r/v at 0600 tomorrow morning for an 0800 Le Mans start for which we will be the leeward boat. 3 teams have played their Jokers on this race, potentially doubling their race points, it remains tight at the top and we continue to lead the fundraising table (thanks to those who have already donated). The sun is just up and it looks like a nice day.

For fundraising for Diabetes UK and the National Autistic Society see:

http://justgiving.com/teams/keithsclipperadventure

for fundraising for UNICEF UK see

https://justgiving.com/KeithWinstanley-TeamUNICEF

One thought on “149. The Atlantic Homecoming Leg.

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