Clipper Race: Goodbye fall, Hello spring

Published on October 1st, 2019

(October 1, 2019; Race 2, Day 16) – At the approximate halfway point of Race 2 from Portugal to Uruguay, the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race teams have been appreciating the exceptional sailing conditions and many have celebrated crossing the equator and reaching the Southern Hemisphere.

“A new day, a new month, a new season and a new hemisphere!” said Dare To Lead Skipper Guy Waites after crossing the equator at sunset yesterday. “A small offering was made to King Neptune, just enough to keep the peace, a baptism of our good ship CV27 Dare To Lead for taking good care of us and a slice of home baked fruitcake thanks to my sister Heather, baked to our long standing family recipe, delicious we all agreed!

“It seemed appropriate that we witnessed the sun setting on the Northern Hemisphere, September and autumn, and today, the dawn rising on the Southern Hemisphere, October and spring. In one single moment we have transcended winter.”

On board Zhuhai the milestone was marked at 0323UTC today ith music, freshly baked ‘equator cake’ and all hands on deck to witness the occasion.

Skipper Nick Leggatt explained: “Apparently King Neptune has been busy welcoming some of our competitors to the Southern Hemisphere, so he asked to be excused from tonight’s festivities in order that he could get some rest. He assures me that he will make it to our daily crew Happy Hour at lunch time, when the Pollywogs can officially be initiated as Shellbacks.”

At the back of the fleet, Imagine your Korea, Punta del Este, and GoToBermuda are all thankful to be free of the Doldrums Corridor but it has not been easy.

“The wind was backing and veering through about 20 degrees, making it a very active beat, not to mention building and dropping through 5-8 knots of wind speed,” said David Immellman, Skipper of GoToBermuda. “After the gate we had found the wind stayed in the south, unlike what was predicted, so we have had to push hard on the wind, losing speed to height as we had to move away from the light airs ridging in from the north again.

“After dark the wind finally started to back and we could start to head more south than west, so long may that last.”

Imagine your Korea has experienced similar frustrations. “The boat seems to be relishing her regained freedom, settling into a deep groove and hurrying south with little effort required from her crew,” Skipper Mike Surridge said. “It has been tough to watch the others pulling further ahead as we worked hard for our slow progress out of the southern gate – but we were reminded this afternoon that, competition aside, we’re enjoying some exceptional days of sailing.”

At the other end of the leaderboard the leaders, Visit Sanya, China and Qingdao, have reached the start of the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint and as both are experiencing similar consistent trade winds and a moderate sea state competition between the two remains fierce.

Conditions are looking favourable for the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint. Which of the eleven teams will be able to clinch the final bonus points of Race 2?


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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