|Full sail: Da Nang -Viet Nam team arrives in Cape Town, South Africa in sixth place of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race. — Photo courtesy of Clipper Race
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (VNS) — The Da Nang-Viet Nam team arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, at the end of the 3,400 nautical mile Race 2 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, crossing the line in sixth position.
The team improved greatly on its Race 1 tenth place in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, known as one of the planet's toughest endurance challenges.
In this leg across the South Atlantic Ocean, conditions didn't disappoint, pushing the fleet on in a fast and furious crossing with some record speeds in excess of 30 knots, and the front runners averaging a credible 10 knots across the entire 14 day dash.
Da Nang-Viet Nam team's Skipper Wendy Tuck reported the exciting finish that saw her team cross the line six minutes in front of the South African-sponsored entry IchorCoal after thousands of miles of racing.
"We had a duel to the finish line which was so exhilarating. The crew morale on board is fabulous. Towards the end when we could see IchorCoal in front of us, we knew we had to get it. I was in the navigation station when I got the call from deck that it had stopped and parked in a wind hole," Tuck said
"We went from having two reefs in and a number three headsail and getting gusts of up to 38 knots, down to 16 knots, and then nothing. It was quite extraordinary on how it closed up so quick."
Tuck said: "It's hard racing out at sea waiting with baited breath for the six hourly reports to see where your competitors are, and to see if you have gained or lost. It's very tense. The start was the first time we had sailed in really heavy winds upwind and we decided to go for the Scoring Gate which was pretty much upwind all the way."
He added: "We figured by the time the weather changed we were halfway there so we thought we would go for it. It was good practice for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race because nobody had done it before. We then had really heavy downwind stuff that we didn't experience in the last race which was a great learning curve for the crew."
This race is being run on an elapsed time basis and the final positions and points will be awarded in ascending elapsed time. The shortest time wins. This is to account for the late start of LMAX Exchange and Qingdao after repairs following damage caused outside of racing during the stopover in Brazil. They started three days 11 hours and ten minutes after the rest of the fleet.
The Clipper Race fleet will depart for Albany, Western Australia on 31 October where it will then visit Sydney and the Whitsundays before racing to Da Nang.
The expected arrival dates for Da Nang are estimated to be between February 17-21. The international crew and their friends and families will enjoy a stopover in the city until the race departure on February 27. — VNS