Clipper Yacht Race - Teams try different tactics as fleet spreads out

Action shot GB fighting to change the headsail from Yankee 2 to 3
In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, various tactics are being played out and the fleet is becoming more widely spread with Great Britain and Derry~Londonderry~Doire heading further south, joining Invest Africa in the hope of finding more favorable winds.

With Invest Africa deciding to head further south than the majority of the tightly-packed fleet four days ago, the yacht has moved up to ninth place and has closed 40 miles on leader Team Garmin in 24 hours, and it looks like skipper Rich Gould’s plan could pay off.

Race Director Justin Taylor said: 'As Invest Africa approaches the fringes of the Southern Ocean at 40 degrees south, it is a lot freer off the wind than the rest of the fleet, some who still have not been able to reach with their asymmetric spinnakers.

'This is evidenced by the fleet’s current speeds where Invest Africa is averaging 11 plus knots. As they are situated further from the center of the South Atlantic High they will undoubtedly benefit from stronger winds for longer and from a better angle than the rest of the fleet.

'I can only see them reel in the front runners who must be looking over their shoulders nervously thinking ‘where is Invest Africa’?'

Great Britain skipper Simon Talbot, whose team was leading the fleet until four days ago and has now dropped down to seventh position, added he had sacrificed the lead to head a little further south in the hope of helping his tactics.

'These are the times that I as a skipper find the tensest, the big tactical decisions that in reality could have a significant impact on the race for us, but which we hope will pay off for us, only time will tell!'