Clipper Race: Easy on the stomach
Published on September 16th, 2019
(September 16, 2019; Race 2, Day 1) – After the bold, fast start, a sharp drop in wind speed has left the 11 teams in the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race with a testing first 24 hours of racing as they head south.
“Unfortunately…we find ourselves in a bit of a shut down,” reports Chris Brooks, Skipper of Qingdao. “This requires patience and focus. It’s a hard start to the race that will last another 28 days and particularly for Qingdao as we’ve always performed better in the slightly stronger breeze.”
Meanwhile, on Visit Sanya, China, which is currently in eighth place, the team is making the most of the light breeze. “It’s a stunning evening here it’s like daylight on deck with the light from the moon,” notes Skipper Seumas Kellock. “The crew is much preferring this start in comparison to the vomit-inducing start of Race 1.”
At 5195 nm, Race 2 is the longest individual race of the entire circumnavigation, and will prove to be a highly tactical marathon across the North and South Atlantic. Whilst the fleet remains relatively compact for now, the upcoming Scoring Gate ahead of the Canary Islands marks the first major tactical decision of the race.
Already talking tactics, Seumas adds: “It’s going to be a good race this one, tactically, and will be interesting to see how each team takes the winds down to the doldrums corridor. Then, it’s the tactics of the corridor to consider – are there any loopholes in the rules that the race office hasn’t seen yet?”
However, for Guy Waites and his Dare To Lead team, it’s one step at a time. “We are heading south in search of the trade winds that will carry us towards the doldrums, the equator and the South Atlantic bound for Punta del Este, Uruguay, all 5200 nautical miles of it… Race 1 will soon feel like an overnight sprint.”
The second race began September 15 which will take the 11 teams along a 5195 nm course from Portimão, Portugal to Punta del Este, Uruguay, with their expected arrival between October 12 and 16.
About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race:
The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors.
Held biennially, the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race gets underway September 1 for the fleet of eleven identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. This 12th edition has attracted 688 crew representing 43 nationalities for the 41,000+ nm course. The race finishes on August 8.
The course is divided into 8 legs and 15 individual races, with some of the crew in for the entire circumnavigation while others will do individual legs. The team having the best cumulative score over the entire course will win the Clipper Race Trophy.
The Clipper 2019-20 Race Route:
The fleet departs from London, UK to Portimão, Portugal; across the Atlantic to Punta del Este, Uruguay; the South Atlantic to Cape Town, South Africa; across the Southern Ocean’s Roaring Forties to Fremantle, Western Australia; around to the Whitsundays on the east coast of Australia, back into the Northern Hemisphere to China where teams will race to Qingdao, via Sanya and Zhuhai; across the mighty North Pacific to Seattle, USA; to New York via the famous Panama Canal; to Bermuda and then it’s a final Atlantic crossing to Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland; before arriving back to London as fully proven ocean racers.