Clipper Race -Squally and variable conditions as fleet heads to Panama

Race 11: Day 13
Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race
Clipper Round The World Yacht Race 2013-14 - Race 11: Day 13, San Francisco, USA to Panama - PSP Logistics Panama 100 Cup, With little over 1,000 miles left to the finish line in Race 11 for the leading boats, the variable wind in both strength and direction, continues to challenge the fleet’s seamanship skills in the PSP Logistics Panama 100 Cup.

With Great Britain and Jamaica Get All Right embroiled in what seems like a never ending dual and with less than 10 miles separating both teams, the humidity and ever increasing temperatures continue to make life on board extremely difficult for the crews. As the fleet heads further south skipper of Great Britain, Simon Talbot explains the conditions as fleet make its way to Panama:

'The heat and humidity continue to rise as we head further south towards the monsoon trough, but the extra convective activity caused by the ever rising sea temperature (it is now 32 degrees) is causing an increasing level of cloud.

'As we head further towards the monsoon trough, this convective activity will probably develop into more robust squalls which will bring their own challenges to our forward progress, but will also be the source of much of the wind for the latter stages of this race, so even though we would rather have clear blue sky, they are kind of a necessary evil to allow us to complete this race before Christmas!'

Meanwhile, PSP Logistics which is currently the most easterly yacht in the fleet, with Qingdao hot on its tail, were pleased to see its tactical inshore gamble come to fruition. Skipper, Chris Hollis explains:

'Thankfully, our coastal position did pay off in the afternoon as a steady sea breeze of 15 knots kicked in from the south west. This saw us drop the windseeker and raise the Yankee 1 and staysail for the first time since the first night of the race! We were making excellent speeds, averaging 10-11 knots for five or six hours.'

Meanwhile, Invest Africa which currently lies at the bottom of the leaderboard enjoyed a few hours of decent speed reaching 10 knots plus, only to have the rug pulled from beneath them as the wind shifted leaving the team barely moving. Skipper, Rich Gould explains:

'Currently we are barely managing to scrape along at 1.6 knots ground speed and although the breeze has been light for a while now this is without a doubt the lightest conditions we have yet had to endure since leaving San Francisco.

'The forecast is suggesting that we may get some better breeze in the next 36 hours, but I struggle to find much comfort in this as recently the weather we have seems to have borne little or no resemblance to what the forecast has been suggesting.'

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 Position - Team  DTL 
Great Britain0NM
Jamaica Get All Right5NM
Henri Lloyd36NM
Derry~Londonderry~Doire57NM
Switzerland58NM
One DLL66NM
Team Garmin176NM
Old Pulteney110NM
PSP Logistics255NM
Qingdao258NM
Mission Performance185NM
Invest Africa209NM
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