The fleet was enduring some difficult conditions with the wind increasing significantly, delivering speeds of up to 40 knots over the last 24 hours and short, sharp waves, making progress upwind very uncomfortable.
Waves of three to four metres were creating a lot of slamming action on day 3 of The Sailing City • Qingdao Cup. Sail changes were very physically demanding on the teams as they try and work the best sail plan to their advantage.
ClipperTelemed+ was still leading the fleet, with Visit Seattle in second, and GREAT Britain in third place. ClipperTelemed+ Skipper Matt Mitchell reports: “Life is extremely uncomfortable at the moment as we beat our way into an increasing seaway. The wind is hanging around the 30 knot mark and the swell is setting in at around 3 metres which makes for some impressive wave breaking action over the bow”.
“Our position against the fleet is pretty good at the moment and we are concentrating on making the best Velocity Made Good (VMG) that we can.”
The conditions have deteriorated due to the north east monsoon being strengthened by a developing low moving away over Japan. The conditions were expected to stay strong for another two to three days.
The teams were making a respectable 7 to 9 knots as they head east before turning north through the Luzon Strait and up the east coast of Taiwan.
Max Stunnell, Skipper of PSP Logistics, in fourth place, said: “Well this is exciting, blasting up waves the size of houses, hoping there is going to be something behind it so we are not just plummeting into an abyss. Having tried various sail plans, getting some hard-working crew very wet in the process we have settled on a plan that allows us good speed and control without waves breaking all the way to the back pedestal winch!”
Meanwhile, in Da Nang, Viet Nam, the South East Asian destination the fleet departed on Saturday, the city was celebrating Wendy Tuck Day in honour of the Australian female Skipper of the city’s namesake entry.