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Hampshire sailors take on world race
THE action is getting hot and humid in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as the 12-strong fleet approach the Equator.
Irish entry Derry Londonderry last night led the way on the latest leg from Brest in France to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Skipper Gareth Glover from Gosport was leading the Hampshire contingent after manoeuvring his yacht Qingdao into fourth place 80 miles off the leaders.
Cowes-based Olly Cotterell’s OneDLL crew was around 150 miles behind the frontrunners while Titchfield’s Pete Stirling was 200 miles adrift on Jamaica Get All Right.
There are also three Hampshire people on board the yacht Switzerland, which was tenth out of 12.
On board is Lindsey Noble, 59 from Winchester, below, who quit her job as principal of City College in Southampton to take part. Charlie Pickering, a 58-year-old operations director from Southampton, and Heather Reid, 50 from Totton, are also on board.
Another Hampshire sailor in the race is Jacob Carter, 20, from Fareham. His yacht, Great Britain, was in seventh place last night. Despite the deficit, Stirling said he was enjoying the sailing conditions.
He said: “Yesterday (Tuesday) was truly a brilliant day of Champagne sailing at its very best.
“With 10 knots of true wind, flat seas and bright sunshine, we spent the whole day slipping along at a steady 10 to 12 knots under full mainsail and the medium weight spinnaker.
“Sailing faster than the wind speed is something you could very rarely get a Clipper 68 to do; the Clipper 70 does it effortlessly.
“Days like these are rare indeed so you savour them when you can.”
Glover said the crews were battling high temperatures as they approached the notorious Doldrums, a moving band of low pressure known to snare boats.
“It’s getting very warm below decks now in the day time as the sun heats up the hull and deck the temps go up, making sleeping almost impossible,” he said. “The temperature is still at 32 degrees, but the up side is we are in shorts and t-shirts most of the time and the days have been very sunny and the winds have been very good helping us south.
“I know this will only last for a few more days until we get to the Intertropical Convergence Zone and it will be a bit of luck who gets out the other side.”
The Clipper Race set off from London on September 2 and will return in June after the fleet have sailed 40,000 miles around the world.
They will have visited 16 ports across six continents.
Will Carson's Sail Solent is in today's Daily Echo
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