Europa (Netherlands) has passed both way points in the race (Cape Reinga and North Cape) and has around 50 miles to the finish line - but Tecla (Netherlands) is less than 20 miles behind, and is closing in with the light and variable conditions.
Lord Nelson (UK) and Picton Castle (Canada) (pictured) have both retired from the official race.
Spirit of New Zealand (New Zealand) is less than 10 miles behind Tecla and it will be interesting to see if the Kiwis are able to take home advantage and catch them up in the closing stages as they sail into their home waters.
Oosterschelde (Netherlands) and Young Endeavour (Australia) remain less than just three miles apart in a duel that has been going on for the past 24 hours. Young Endeavour remains slightly ahead but Oosterschelde is currently sailing 1 knot faster at the moment, so could get ahead of her Australian rival by the next report.
Paul Bishop, Race Director, Sail Training International said, "We're sorry that two of the crews haven't managed to officially finish the race – Picton Castle
(Canada) (latest blog below) and Lord Nelson (UK)
– but we will still be welcoming them into Auckland. They've done a great job and contributed a lot to the Regatta."
Current placings on Corrected Time are:
3rd Spirit of New Zealand
Captains logs from Picton Castle (Canada)
Wednesday 16 October: The morning watch
On the deck of our barque this morning for the 4-8am morning watch we find Picton Castle sailing along with fair winds just aft of the port beam.
The ship is sailing east on the Tasman Sea along the 34th parallel, south of the equator at about 163 degrees, 34 minutes east longitude. A large yellowing moon is setting in the west; a dazzling swath of stars reveals itself more and more, and the belt of the Milky Way becomes clear as the moon descends. Seas are small, wind is cool, visibility is excellent, yards braced just so - with all plain sail set and drawing. How quietly they do their work.
We are bound from Sydney for Opua around the North Cape of New Zealand. Our gang is getting the hang of things, and there is much to get the ‘hang’ of - steering, boxing the compass, the 205 pieces of running rigging and knowing what to do with them, safety procedures. Even just standing up and walking takes on a whole new dimensions for new crew – but they are doing it – and no amount of preparation ashore can replace the time at sea.
Our passing gale was an experience not to be forgotten, and they did well, as did the ship with not a line parting nor a sail damaged. Now, in as fine a condition any sailing ship seafarer could hope for our crew is getting a chance to take in why going to sea under sail is so worth doing, sometimes just for the sheer beauty of it. It's a beautiful morning at sea on Picton Castle.
Crew log from Young Endeavour (Australia)
Wednesday 16 October: Tuna for breakfast
Life on board goes on with a daily grind of watches, meals, attempting to sleep and yet more watches. It's frustrating with a sloppy sea now and very little wind, so progress is very slow. We are still over 100 miles from the tip of New Zealand, with another 120 miles from there to the finish.
The ships time was changed last night with our clocks going forward one hour, making us 13 hours ahead of UK and now in NZ time.
The catch of the day was served for breakfast - fresh tuna caught on a spinner trolling over the stern of the ship. Probably measuring two feet long and weighing in at nine or 10 lbs. Today the cooks are trainees, so it will be good to see how they prepare the tuna for lunch and serve it.
Follow the fleet
For live tracking follow the fleet here
Keep up to date with the latest race results here.
Photo: Picton Castle
- ends -
For more information contact Sally Titmus, Communications and Marketing Manager, Sail Training International, Charles House, Gosport Marina, Mumby Road, Gosport, Hampshire, UK PO12 1AH
Tel: +44 (0) 23 9258 6367 Email: email@example.com
What is sail training?
Sail Training is an adventure activity, which includes far more than sailing instruction. Participants are required to confront demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It is an activity that inspires self-confidence and personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others, whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. Those who undertake Sail Training on Tall Ships generally find it a positive life-changing experience.
About Sail Training International (STI)
STI is the international voice of Sail Training, a registered charity (not-for-profit organisation), which has worldwide membership and activities. Its purpose is the development and education of young people through the Sail Training experience, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background. It organises the annual Tall Ship Races and other international Tall Ship sailing events. STI members are 29 national Sail Training organisations around the world and STI’s head office is in Gosport, Hampshire, UK.
The organisation was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 for its work in promoting international understanding and friendship.