Clipper Race: Passing the time

Published on September 28th, 2019

(September 28, 2019; Race 2, Day 13) – Another day of the Doldrums and motor-sailing through the corridor meant that the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race teams needed to get creative in passing the time before they’d be back racing towards Punta del Este.

Seattle has at last taken advantage of the Doldrums Corridor rule, the last of the fleet to do so, which allows the engine to be used for a maximum of six degrees of latitude during a 60 hour period. The First Mate on board Seattle, Ineke Van Der Weijden has reported her team tried to get as much out of the boat and the dropping wind as possible, before they started motor-sailing.

She says, “Well, nobody can say we did not try! We trimmed, used almost our whole sail wardrobe and helmed well. We braved squalls, torrential rains and wind holes. We learned how to sail the edge of clouds as well as the patience required for light wind sailing. But in the end our plan to sail the whole corridor has now been put to rest. We are motor-sailing just like everybody else.”

Imagine Your Korea, WTC Logistics, and GoToBermuda have put their sextants to good use and made the most of the Doldrums downtime for some celestial navigation lessons. Says Skipper of GoToBermuda, David Immelman, “Although we are going through the practical side of celestial navigation, I am not going through the complicated calculations and plotting required to actually get a fix. In other words we are doing the fun bit and avoiding the boring maths bit. Sound about right for a relaxing day of motoring.”

Spring cleaning was the order of the day with many boats getting a good spruce up. This was hard work at times for those involved as below deck temperatures were hot and uncomfortable. But this was also used to their advantage in getting some much needed laundry washed and dried in the warm sun.

The short term slower pace of life has meant that nature can be observed more closely. A gang of Mahi Mahi were spotted swimming alongside Unicef, “Their colours beautiful with vivid blues, greens and yellow.” Brown booby birds were noted in the log book of Zhuhai, the creatures on the look-out for flying fish native to the Atlantic. And an impressive lightshow was put on for the crew of Qingdao, courtesy of phosphorescent dolphins.

The motor-sailing segment of the race has now come to an end for Visit Sanya, China, Qingdao, Unicef, Punta del Este, and Dare To Lead.

Skipper Guy Waites, on Dare To Lead reports: “For now we are beating upwind maybe for a few days, so far in a gentle sea state. Let’s hope it stays like this (the sea, not the wind). Also, I think we are starting to be happy with anything here. We’ve been at sea now for long enough for us to understand and appreciate that it’s as much for the journey as the destination.”

Race 2 began September 15 and 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.

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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.

Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race


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