Clipper Race: Three Times Across Bass Strait

Published on January 2nd, 2016

(January 2, 2016) – The sixth stage of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race got underway today following the fleet’s successful Sydney-Hobart campaign.

The Henri Lloyd Hobart to Whitsundays Race is the sixth of 14 races which make up the 11-month global series which started from London at the end of August last year.

The latest race started this morning at 1100 local time (0000 UTC) from Hobart, Tasmania. The 1,631 nautical mile race to Abell Point Marina, Airlie Beach is expected to take around ten days to complete.

First across the line was Chinese entry Qingdao followed closely by Northern Ireland’s Derry~Londonderry~Doire second and LMAX Exchange third.

During Race 6, the fleet will cross the Bass Strait for the third time to race up the east coast. The teams have already demonstrated great spirit and seamanship in all completing one of the hardest editions of the Sydney-Hobart for many years: a third of the 108 starting yachts retired, including many professional teams and super maxis.

Clipper Race founder and Chairman Sir Robin-Knox Johnston said it was a huge achievement, not to be underestimated: “I think it reflects both the high quality of their training and the robust nature of the Clipper 70 design that all the boats finished without major damage or injury when so many professionals had to pull out.”

Wendy Tuck, Australian Skipper of Da Nang – Viet Nam, said she was ready to push the crew harder again in an effort to emulate their Race 5 win in the Clipper Race class in the Sydney-Hobart

“I have sailed this route up to Airlie Beach a lot of times, so am very familiar with the conditions, which I hope will give us an advantage. It should be a fast race,” Wendy added.

Greg Miller, Skipper of Mission Performance, said: “There is a buzz round the whole fleet still from competing in the Sydney Hobart, so it is good to get racing again so quickly.

“The wind will be behind us for most of the way, then we are expecting it to come round half way, then come round again so it will be a long kite run. Team wise, we always start races well and go hard for the first half of the race before things fall apart a little towards the end so we need to push up a few gears,” he added.

The start followed a parade of sail in the Derwent River in front of spectators and spectator boats with support and logistics provided by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

The fleet is anticipated to arrive into Abell Point Marina, Airlie Beach, between 13-14 January. The top three teams will be presented with the Race 6: Henri Lloyd Hobart to Whitsundays Race pennant.

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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 Australian portion of the race began December 1 and has taken the fleet on three legs within Australia: Albany to Sydney, Sydney to Hobart, Hobart to Whitsundays… a total of 5,105 miles. The fleet is on the final 1,631 nautical mile leg which began January 2 and is expected to finish January 13 or 14.

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.


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