Team Garmin – Clipper Race Team Update 27 March 2014

The Clipper Round the World Race is now on Race 10, Leg 6 across the Pacific Ocean from Qingdao to San Francisco. And on Team Garmin, it’s the first leg for new skipper Jan Ridd. 


Ridd is a seasoned sailor and a long term Clipper Race training skipper, who lead a team around the world in the 2009-10 edition of the race to finish on the podium in third place overall. 


So far, their position in the fleet is looking promising.  But with less crew on Team Garmin than during other races, Ridd reports that he and the crew are already suffering from fatigue.  He says, “With a band of stronger wind coming through later, I am making sure everyone is getting as much rest as possible before the wind builds again.”

Racing these Clipper 70 yachts is hard work, and Ridd reports that while heavier winds have been forecast, at the moment the wind is getting progressively lighter.  “We are currently struggling to keep the boat moving in under 5 knots of breeze.  We have spent most of the morning following every shift in the wind direction and changing from the ultra-light windseeker sail to the normal head sails as the wind has built and dropped.”

But onboard technology from Garmin has helped.  Ridd says, “We were able to time a tack perfectly as we followed a wind shift developing, using a function on the Garmin plotter. The crew were amazed that the boat tacked through only 40 degrees, the plotter allowing us to time the tack nearly perfectly.”

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Garmin is the official marine electronics supplier to the Clipper 70 yachts, supplying the complete suite of navigation and GPS products on board.  In addition, some of the crews are using Garmin VIRBs to capture all the action, and new crew joining the race in San Francisco will be using the Vivofits to monitor their on-board activities.  The 40,000 mile race around the world represents one of the toughest environments for marine products, making it an excellent endorsement for the reliability.  The frequency of new crew at each leg also demonstrates the ‘power of simple’ when using Garmin equipment.