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Clipper races prepare to weather Atlantic storm
10:13am Tuesday 17th September 2013 in New Forest
HAMPSHIRE sailors were last night preparing for stormy weather as the Clipper Race continued across the Atlantic Ocean.
The three crew members from the county on board the yacht Switzerland were hoping the winds would prove a blessing in disguise as they battle to improve their tenth position of the 12 boats taking part in the round-the-world race.
Charlie Pickering, a 58-year-old operations director from Southampton, and Heather Reid, 50, from Totton, are also on board.
In her latest report, Switzerland skipper Vicky Ellis said: “To my right is a huge rain squall that looks like the entrance to hell, to my left a becalming windless, cloudless expanse of water. The crew are on deck trimming the kite as the threat of the squall looms.
“Will it engulf us in wind and rain, or will it pass us by and leave us to the mercy of the fickle winds?”
Another Hampshire sailor in the race is Jacob Carter, 20, from Fareham. His yacht, Great Britain, was in seventh place last night.
The 12 yachts left London two weeks ago in the high-profile event, which is held every two years and involves novices placing their lives on hold to race round the world.
After a stop at Brest in north-west France, the crews set off for the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro to complete the second part of the first leg of the 40,000-mile challenge.
They will visit 16 ports across six continents including South Africa, Australia, China, the US and Jamaica before ending one year later where it began at St Katherine’s Dock in London.
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