Durban take lead in Clipper

Mast shot of Durban 2010 and Beyond -

A big shake up in the leaderboard overnight reflects the difference in wind conditions across the fleet. Durban 2010 and Beyond have a 26 mile lead from Westernaustralia2011.com with Qingdao a further ten miles back.

Liverpool 08 were sailing into the centre of a high pressure system and clearly found it, covering only 13 nautical miles in the 12 hours to 06:00 GMT. Durban 2010 and Beyond, on the other hand, covered 128 nautical miles in the same period which catapulted them into the lead.

Clipper - positions - DTF- DTL - 12hr run - at 06:00hrs - 1 November 2007

1 Durban 2010 and Beyond 3097 0 22
2 westernaustralia2011.com 3123 26 44
3 Qingdao 3133 36 109
4 Uniquely Singapore 3166 69 28
5 Hull & Humber 3177 80 34
6 Jamaica 3205 108 24
7 Liverpool 08 3212 115 87
8 Glasgow:Scotland with style 3225 128 43
9 Nova Scotia 3287 190 57
10 New York 3532 435 114

Skipper of the South African boat, Ricky Chalmers, reported to the Race Office this morning, 'From the hound to the fox… I hate being chased, especially with such a slender lead and with such fluky wind coming up. Still, being back in the lead is satisfying.'

The team doing the chasing is southern hemisphere rival westernaustralia2011.com who also jumped up the leaderboard overnight into second place. They are now pushing hard for the lead as they enjoy some fast sailing towards their home port.

Martin Silk, the skipper, reports, 'The whole crew have been working very hard to push the boat forward; we want to make sure westernaustralia2011.com is in pole position into our home port and show the Poms what we are really made of.'

Nova Scotia has followed Liverpool 08 into the high pressure system, but this could pay off in a few days’ time as the system moves away. However it is more usual on this leg that the better winds are to be found further south.

Following a good run, Jamaica has moved up to the middle of the fleet and has taken up a central position in terms of tactics.

Race Director Joff Bailey says, 'This is a good approach to take. Taking a gamble may work now and again but ocean races aren’t won by gambling; they are won by making good tactical decisions and hard work.'

Hard work is indeed the order of the day on board Jamaica, where the crew have been focusing on their sail trim according to their skipper, Simon Bradley. 'After a slow day speed has picked up again, which is nice!' he says. 'Spinnaker trimming constantly heard - grind, grind, grind - stop! Eeeaaaasse - stop! Life is good, good, good on Jamaica. One Love!'

As for Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper, Joff says, 'They have obviously decided overnight that south is best and have changed their tactics dramatically. The Race Viewer shows them starting to make a dive south but they have only made slow progress as they have also been affected by the light winds around the high.'

Qingdao is now the furthest south and approaching the magic 40 degrees south line which signifies the start of the Southern Ocean. They have lost some miles to the leading boats but have placed themselves in a good position with respect to future weather systems and the boats behind them.

The fleet is expected to arrive in Fremantle, Western Australia, on approximately 16 December.