Clipper Round the World Yacht Race: Event speed record broken in Leg 1

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2013-14 Leg 1, Race 2
The Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Race has set a new race speed record of 30.7 knots in the North Atlantic, early on in Leg 1 of the world’s longest ocean race. The Henri Lloyd team recorded the race’s top surfing speed of 30.7 knots in the North Atlantic as the fleet head south to the equator line and their eventual goal of Rio de Janeiro. The 2011-12 speed record was 27 knots, achieved in the Pacific in Leg 6 by Visit Finland on the previous fleet of Clipper 68’s.

Canadian, Eric Holden, skipper of Henri Lloyd, said: 'We had sailed through the night on the heavy weight spinnaker and achieved what I thought was some very respectable speeds. In the morning we decided to drop the heavy weight as we were fast approaching the acceleration zone off Cape Finisterre.

'With the reduced sail plan I thought the speed records would be over and I went down below for some needed rest after a long night. However, it wasn't long before I felt the boat take off. I could hear the spray flying off the hull and knew something special was imminent. I then heard the crew give a huge cheer as the speedo topped over 30 knots.'

Clipper Race Director, Justin Taylor said the conditions were making for fantastic racing. 'Overnight, the yachts have been reporting that the wind speed is relatively stable at 25knots from the north-east with a sea swell of three to four metres. This has provided perfect conditions for the yachts to produce surfing speeds of 20+ knots.'

'These speeds are pretty much what we expected from the performance of the Clipper 70, though we didn’t really expect them to be setting speed records till they reached the Southern Ocean. What makes this even more remarkable is that many of the skippers are sailing conservatively, at least until they have bedded their crews in more and they become more skilled at helming and sailing the boats in these fantastic offshore conditions.'

The crews of the Clipper 2013-14 Race had already secured their place in race history by becoming the first crews to race the brand new designed fleet of Clipper 70s. Designed by renowned Naval architect Tony Castro after years of planning with the race organisers, these are the event’s third generation of ocean racers and were specially designed to be faster and more dynamic than their predecessors.

The Clipper 70, the third generation of the event’s ocean racers are, by design, stripped of all luxuries. New features include twin helms, twin rudders and a six-foot bowsprit which allows the inclusion of three large asymmetric spinnakers and a suite of Yankee headsails which will all add to increase performance and boat speed.

The inclusion of state of the art features in the new hull design produces a better performance and control, especially in the light winds encountered near the Equator or between weather systems when crossing oceans.

Legendary yachtsman and Clipper Race Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: 'I am very pleased but not too surprised to hear the race speed record has been broken in Leg 1 of the Clipper 2013-14 Race by our new fleet of Clipper 70s. These boats are fast and challenging and not for the faint of heart as our crews are currently experiencing.

'I worked closely at every stage with our race and design teams for the Clipper 70s and we predicted they would perform superbly through the big seas of the Southern and Pacific Oceans. We also expected we would see significant improvements on the yacht’s performance during the light and fickle winds often experienced in the Doldrums close to the Equator and in the Tropics.'

'I congratulate Eric and his Henri Lloyd team for setting this exciting speed record so early in the race and look forward to witnessing further such racing achievements as they progress around the world.'

After another night of close racing it has been all change at the top of the Race 2 leader board. Henri Lloyd took the lead from GREAT Britain and are now over 10 miles ahead of second place Derry~Londonderry~Doire and third place OneDLL. GREAT Britain are currently fourth.

Clipper Round the World