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1 Virtual Clipper race 1516 London to Rio

2 Virtual Clipper 1516 Rio to Cape Town

3 Virtual Clipper 1516 Cape to Albany

4 Clipper 1516 Albany to Sydney

5 Clipper 1516 Sydney to Hobart race

6 Clipper 1516 Hobart to Whitsundays

7 Clipper 1516 Whitsundays to Viet Nam

8 Clipper 1516 Da Nang to Qingdao

9 Qingdao to Seattle

10 Seattle to Panama

11 Panama to New York

12 New York to Londonderry

13 Londonderry to Den Helder

14 Den Helder to Southend-on-Sea, London

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Home > Miscellaneous > Sailing > Clipper 1516 Qingdao to Seattle - leg 9

Round The World Clipper race 1516:  Leg 9 Qingdao to Seattle

Video of the first week's racing

This time our team log starts 11 days into the race since I've been away. I've been using mobile Galaxy S5 device to occasionally access the boat (satsig.net) using WiFi at a hotel.  the Galaxy S5 does not have a phone facility as it is 'locked' and needs something called SIM card.

31 March 2016: Starting with an overview of the entire fleet.  There are supposedly approx 51849 boats but I suspect that about 36349 of these are DNS (Did Not Start), leaving about 15500 active participants (my guess) in this leg of the journey. The red dots each represent one boat. Some boats left Qingdao and went round the south end of Japan. The majority went along the suggested orange line route and a few went via gaps between the islands to the north. A very few navigated via a narrow channel.  Our BRITPACK 7 team all have low power (free of charge) sails. You can pay extra for faster 'pro' sails.

A look at the course and my friends. One problem with a race like this, well away in latitude from the equator, is that the square grid of wind indicators does not properly represent the shape of the earth. The squares really become rectangles and get progressively narrower sideways as you go further north.  The curved orange line represents an approx great circle route which is really a straight line. I guess one advantage of being in the northern latitudes is that you get a good view of the pole star at night.

I've added our team boat names below and a few others. I'm the red one with a faint white circle, and a red trail, round it in the chart above.

The actual boats in the BRITPACK 7 team now are:

Beowulf 1
Kames Bay
Lady Phyllis May

Aberlady may or may not rejoin in a later leg of the race.

2 April 2016: Saturday pm. After steady day going east and then a little to the north, all with 120 deg wind angle now the wind has dropped and looking forward to a night gently going NE. Boats to the north will be better off, as will those a long way south. A group immediately to the south of me will have slow going for the next few hours.

3rd April: I thought that keeping north would minimise the distance, but it seems I'm heading for adverse winds.

A bit more optimistic now. Great speeds 17.5 knots with perfect wind, and good direction also!

Good time comes to an end. Stalled !

5th April: Steady winds everywhere, so it seems like the trade winds, but we are miles up north ? For downwind sailing like this, the plan is to zigzag approx 40 deg either side of downwind, with the exact angle depending on the polars for the particular true wind speed.

5th April: More of the same.

7th April: Getting interesting now with some unusual weather pattern developing. I'm not sure what it is called.

7th April: 935 miles to go to Seattle. I think Seattle is the home of Boeing where they developed the Boeing 747 with a great financial investment.

7th April: The two red markers show my expected positions 12 hr and 24hr ahead, assuming a steady course.


8th April.  The leading group of 'pro' sails boats are clearly having fun, with the finish now on the charts.

9th April: The early 'pro' sails boats are just about reaching the finish. I've got myself too far north and am trying to get south again. East-west distances are much less than they appear.

10 April: I'm in 2470th position and nearly there, 126 miles to go, land coming into sight on the left (port side).

This image illustrates what you get if you use my web page to display the view as seen from above. I've marked the finish line circle approximately in red. It really should be an ellipse according to the map projection.  If you go to the page you can see more higher resolution detail using the + sign on the right,

An output plot using the zezo computer simulator.  Some does not make much sense such as the zig-zag on the left.  In fact boat pointing needed very close attention at 10 minute intervals as the very light wind changed direction by substantial amounts, even over 10 minutes.


10th April: A difficult few days are ahead, requiring much concentration. There is virtually no wind and it is complicated navigating up narrow channel with varying wind directions. I just hope I don't have to tack all the time. Some very complicated short term course changes will be needed over a few minutes as the wind changes direction. I've seen a number of boats come to complete stop, head to wind and you have only to leave it like that for 10 minutes and you lose 10s of places. On the other hand if you get it right for one hour (6 iterations) you might gain 100 places or more !

11th April:  Almost a drifting match. Those already at the finish are all those who had the faster 'pro' sails. I've got a plan based on exact 45 wind angle and keeping in the more windy areas.

It's evening and hoping to finish tonight. the I'll be able to get some sleep! Nice to be gaining places all the time, up fro 2487th to 1714th Hooray!  Very light wind. I'll have to find the anchor in case we start to drift backwards in the current. Must check the rules about anchoring.

Critical last minute steering to get to the finish. Less than 3 miles to the line and I'm aiming for the point just south of where the orange line cross the red circle as this is the point the least far to windward.  I'm keeping to exact 45 wind angle as far as possible. It is not obvious from the chart but I'm steering a curved line, changing course 1 deg or so every 10 minutes.

How did I manage to get from 2487th position to 1601st at the finish ? Well, I stuck to exactly 45 wind angle virtually all the way for the last 100 miles. Right at the end I aimed for the part of the circle that was exactly downwind from the central endpoint.

Tues 12 April 0900 BST: Following last night's excitement, it is morning now and the remainder of team are as above. We got rather worried when Lady Phyllis May got close to the rocks.

Final results were:


I've marked our team members and  friends with orange blobs. Congratulations to Kames bay, the winner in the team. Note that first five in each tem count.  Our scoring boats in the leg are Kames Bay, Minazpint, satsig.net, Beowulf 1 and Mullionman.

I've almost run out of internet access Gbytes this month.  Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 has downloaded a massive amount of Gbytes. My common programs are still working I hope: Notepad, Wordpad, Frontpage 2002, WinSCP, Ugrib, qtvlm, fnr and Libre-Office.

Results have been found here: Team Results of Virtual Clipper Race 2015

Results of SO team boats in Virtual Clipper races 1-9

Summarised above is my listing for individual SO boats in the teams.  The pink squares represent boats that Did Not Start or Did Not Finish. They get a points score equal to the number of boats finishing +1 (I think ?) In adding up the total points I think that 2 discards have been allowed so far. For example, boat BibRhoo has had placings of 14th and 26th  discarded.

Team positions after 9 races

The team positions are as above.

Video : Clipper yachts arriving in Seattle

Next races:

Seattle to Panama: Start 28th April 2016

Panama to New York: Start 30th May 2016.

If you want to add comment or images here please send to me by email: eric@satsig.net

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Page created 31st March 2016, amended 30 July 2016   ECJ (c) 2016 Copyright Satellite Signals Limited, All rights reserved.