With corona virus still an issue ,race 7 became a race out around the Nan Sei islands near Taiwan then returning back to Subic Bay. Hopefully this gives Clipper time to work out where to go next.The parade of sail was in crowded space with very few spectators. During our mock man overboard drill ,I took the opportunity of getting a swim in the warm (26.5 deg) tropical waters.
The race was a downwind start and we took a conservative approach setting the yankee 1 with the intention of hoisting the kite after gybing round the first mark. Some of those setting the kite early did get a little ahead but not all. It was a fast start with us doing 11 to 12 knots once the kite was set.
Then the wind died .We were able to see it coming and sailed a little higher to get around some of the fleet.The fleet basically all came together .It was as if we were almost lined up east to west and were doing a Le Mans start. Some of us had dropped kites some not. Punta sqeezed down past us under kite but we were then able to come past their stern and get ahead and to windward under white sails.The official sched at the end of our watch had us in first .
The fickle breeze overnight saw lots of changes . I woke up to go on watch and we get on deck and we have WTC to port and slightly behind. We work hard to keep the boat moving gradually gaining on those in front and behind. But we are going slightly west of north while the rest of the fleet are more
to the east inshore The wind dies on us and our gains are evaporated with the leaders gaining 8 miles on us. Our watch and our next support watch sees the kite up and down several times More wind changes and the fleet almost comes back together again.
Certainly the inshore route looks like the way to go up the coast of Luzon island. Time will tell.