Clipper Race: Great Cape and three oceans
Published on November 30th, 2015
Race 4 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the Elliot Brown Timekeeper Cup to Sydney, starts Tuesday 1 December from Albany, Western Australia.
The fleet will slip lines in Albany Waterfront Marina from 1200 noon local time and a Parade of Sail and aerobatic display will follow between 1300 and 1400 before Race Start at 1500 (0700 UTC).
From Albany, the yachts will head south-east back into the Southern Ocean. Once again, the race route will go below the 40th parallel for a downwind sleigh ride east to Tasmania.
Going further south than on any other leg, this race goes through one of the most inhospitable parts of the planet. Going south of the rhumb line to get stronger westerly winds may be the fastest option but will add extra miles.
On the port beam is the Great Australian Bight and the unforgiving shores of the Nullarbor Plain. Here Australia sits above cold Antarctic waters where icebergs can flow north.
The yachts will route toward the southern tip of Tasmania and into the Tasman Sea and the Bass Strait for the first time in an upwind beat against the East Australia current.
The teams will be rewarded for their efforts with the beautiful sight of Sydney Harbour. However, although this race is held in the Australian summer ‘southerly buster’ storms can be very challenging.
Official Clipper 2015-16 Race Timekeeper, Elliot Brown, Co-founder Ian Elliot, said: “As long time surfers and watermen, Race 4 feels like our natural race.
“As the clock counts down, its combination of solid Southern Ocean swells and (hopefully) sun on the crews’ backs should prove exhilarating and challenging in equal measure. We should see some extraordinarily high boat speeds to add to the excitement factor if the fleet manages to hook into the westerlies.
“Happy surfing teams – the heat is on to Sydney!” Ian added.
View the Elliot Brown one minute Race 4 video briefing by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on Race 4:
Report by event media.
Background: The 40,000 mile Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race began in London, UK on August 30 for the fleet of twelve identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. The series is divided into 16 individual races, with the team with the best cumulative score winning the Clipper Race Trophy. Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew.
The fourth leg begins December 1 and takes the fleet from on three races: Albany, Western Australia to Sydney, Sydney to Hobart, Hobart to Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia, covering 5105 miles.
The ports along the race route are Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Cape Town, South Africa; Albany, Sydney, Hobart and Airlie Beach, Australia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Qingdao, China; Seattle, USA; Panama; New York, USA; Derry-Londonderry, Ireland; and Den Helder, Netherlands before returning to London by late July.