Red Light for Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
Published on February 24th, 2014
(February 24, 2014) – The Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race, now in its ninth edition, is taking a time out. The twelve, brand new designed 70 foot ocean racers built specifically for this edition are having problems.
The 40,000 mile race began in London, UK on September 1 and have already visited Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Albany, Sydney, Hobart and Brisbane, Singapore. The fleet was on its way to Qingdao, China when failures to the forestay bottlescrews began occurring.
A few days ago Jamaica Get All Right suffered the first failure and diverted to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia; Last night PSP Logistics experienced the second failure, followed a few hours later by Derry~Londonderry~Doire. The entire fleet has been instructed to stop racing as a precaution and make its way to Hong Kong.
A spare Yankee halyard is being used as a temporary forestay to stabilise the rig.
“There is clearly a fault with this part of the rigging and we are not prepared to take any risks with the remaining boats so far unaffected,” explained Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, founder and chairman of race organisers Clipper Ventures. “In Hong Kong the forestay bottlescrews will be replaced with a system we have just had approved by the MCA surveyor.”
Hong Kong is 770 miles from the leading yachts present position and the best estimate of arrival is Saturday 1 March. The boats will be turned round as speedily as possible and then will start racing together to Qingdao.
The 70-foot yachts, designed by renowned Naval architect Tony Castro, were a bold step to meet the progress made in modern offshore racing. The Clipper 70 design is faster and more dynamic than previous Clipper Race yachts, which included the Clipper 60s and Clipper 68s.
New features on the Clipper 70s include twin helms, twin rudders and a six-foot bowsprit, which allows the inclusion of three large asymmetric spinnakers and a suite of Yankee headsails. The new hull design produces a better performance and control, especially in the light winds encountered near the Equator or between weather systems when crossing oceans. The design provides total control in the heaviest of conditions, ensuring not only high speeds, but safety too.
After Qingdao the Clipper Race will visit San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry-Londonderry and Den Helder, Netherlands before returning to London in July.
Event website: www.clipperroundtheworld.com
Source: Details provided by the event media