Yep, my team are racing hard for the finish and using secrecy as a tactic, because Punta del Este have gone into ‘stealth mode’, potentially within 24 hours of their arrival into Cape Town marking the end of Leg 2. Just before they went into stealth mode, they were in 2nd place behind Qingdao….this is going to be a very exciting finish as the fleet jostles East in the South Atlantic.

Not far to go now!

Each team can choose to go into stealth mode for 24 hours, which means their position will be hidden from the other boats in the fleet (and the race-viewing public) until Friday morning (7th November). Clipper have also given the 7th November as an ETA into Cape Town…

For those of you who are curious or indeed, sticklers for detail, here are the lengthier Sailing Instructions from Clipper HQ about using stealth mode in the race:

a. Each yacht shall have the opportunity for up to two 24-hour periods in each nominated race to activate ‘Stealth mode’.

b. Yachts shall not be permitted to use ‘Stealth mode’ in the first 24 hours of each nominated race.

c. Yachts shall not be permitted to use ‘Stealth mode’ within 250nm of the finish line.

d. Each yacht may choose not to use their Stealth period(s), however, any that are not used shall be lost and may not be carried forward to the following races.

e. Where more than one Stealth mode period is permitted in the nominated race, each yacht shall be permitted to take them back to back, which means that their position shall not be available to the fleet (or the public) for a 48-hour period.

f. Should a yacht wish to activate their Stealth mode, the Skipper shall notify the Race Office by email, giving no less than six hours’ notice, and nominating the schedule from which the 24-hour Stealth period shall begin. From that nominated schedule, for a period of 24 hours, no polling data for that yacht shall appear on the public website or be posted to the rest of the Fleet.

For example, a Skipper sends an email to the race office before 0600UTC, nominating the stealth mode to begin at the 1200UTC schedule. The fleet and the public will receive the 1200UTC position for that boat, but no other position information until the 1200UTC schedule on the following day (i.e. 23 hours and 59 minutes).

  1. Request made to activate stealth at 1200UTC schedule 0559 UTC
    >6 hours
  2. Position Broadcast: 1200 UTC
  3. No position broadcast: 1800 UTC
  4. No position broadcast: 0000 UTC
  5. No position broadcast:0600 UTC
  6. Position Broadcast: 1200 UTC

g. Once the Skipper has notified the Race Office of his decision to activate Stealth mode, the yacht shall be deemed to have used that opportunity, i.e. the Skipper cannot cancel his request to use the Stealth mode, even if he contacts the Race Office prior to the requested start of the Stealth mode period.

h. Whilst the yacht is in Stealth mode, the Skipper shall not prevent the automatic tracking units from providing data to the Race Office, and shall continue to send the reporting emails to the Race Office at the appropriate time.

i. The Race Director reserves the right to cease Stealth mode for any vessel before the 24-hour period has expired for reasons of safety. This is not grounds for redress.

j. When a yacht in Stealth mode passes a reporting position or a Scoring Gate, her time of rounding or passing may be made public.

Get set, ready…vamos!

Today all the race crews will be assembling for race start and setting off from Punta del Este for the 2nd leg in the circumnavigation. The 2nd leg is also the shortest leg, involving a crossing of the South Atlantic to Cape Town, South Africa. Whilst all the crews focus on what lies ahead and have everything to play for, I thought I would share this footage taken from across the fleet from Leg 1. Captured is my team’s Skipper, Jeronimo, looking very happy at the helm with his feathered companion; one of the quieter, more relaxed moments from the race before the full force of the Pampero hit.

The Clipper Race fleet experienced everything on Race 2, Leg 1. From days of going nowhere in the doldrums, to the heat of the equator, where King Neptune came to visit. Finally, with the race finish within sight, an almighty storm descended, testing all the crews to their limits.