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Hampshire's Clipper skippers neck and neck
TWO Hampshire skippers were last night battling it neck and neck in the latest leg of the Clipper Round the World race.
The second leg of the race, from Rio in Brazil to Cape Town in South Africa, set off last Saturday.
The two yachts – which are expected to cross the line within the next 24 hours – have taken more of a risk by sailing further north from the rest of the pack where there are lighter winds.
They are aiming to clip the southerly tip of the scoring gate and then head south again into stronger winds.
Following close behind in this latest stage of the 40,000-mile race is the rest of the 12-strong fleet, which includes 13 Hampshire sailors.
Vicky Ellis, skipper of Switzerland, whose crew includes former Southampton City College principal Lindsey Noble, 60, and 58-year-old Charlie Pickering, from Totton, said: “The race viewer must look like a Red Arrows aerobatics display formation, with wingers flying out and the sides of the pack swooping into the centre only to peel off again.
“As one of the ‘central’ boats it’s suddenly become very crowded in here, with a fly-past this morning by Mission Performance and now OneDLL and Old Pulteney appearing on the radar.
“With miles of wide open ocean to play in, can’t one find one’s own patch of sea?
“I should expect more of this as the forecast squeezes the fleet into a funnel around us and boat speed rather than tactics will pay off in this area of the course.”
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