Clipper Race: Close at the top

Published on October 26th, 2019

(October 26, 2019; Day 3) – On the third day of 2019-20 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, Race 3: The Spinlock South Atlantic Showdown, it is all change at the top of the leaderboard as the fleet continues to gybe its way across the South Atlantic from the Uruguayan sailing hub of Punta del Este to Cape Town, South Africa.

The leaderboard continues to fluctuate with each maneuver and no clear leader has emerged from the early stages of this 3,500 nautical mile ocean crossing.

At time of writing, the teams are in a line formation spanning 185 nautical miles north to south; the new leaders to the north, Seattle, Unicef and Imagine your Korea, at the southerly end Dare To Lead has been joined, close to the roaring forties, by Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam and WTC Logistics.

Ian Wiggin Skipper of Unicef currently in second reports: “The conditions today have not been too testing but trying to get any kind of advantage has been. It seems that after 500nm of racing there is no clear leader at this point.”

The close racing continues, often with teams within sight of each other as WTC Logistics has opted for the southerly route. Skipper Mark Burkes explained: “We started the day in the company of Unicef and Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam.

“The day before had seen Visit Sanya, China, GoToBermuda,Imagine your Korea and Zhuhai, and then Seattle gybed northwards. So now it is just Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam and Qingdao (and probably Dare To Lead) down here in the Roaring Forties, with the rest of the fleet staying north for now.” The question for every team continues to be where to position themselves; to the north or to the south.

Simon Rowell, Clipper Race Meteorologist, reports on what conditions the fleet can expect over the next few days: “The low should slowly die out today into tomorrow, with a period of unsteadiness in between it and the next one, probably Sunday night or Monday morning for the fleet. Overall, it’s still looking really good for consistent progress east though, with a proper South Atlantic low due in for Wednesday.”

Qingdao Skipper Chris Brooks explains why position is so important for this upcoming period of change in weather: “I believe the team that is blessed with the best overall pressure and direction of wind to come out in front over the next three days when we face a shut down. I can only hold a hope its us that’s dealt a good hand and if not hopefully I can find a trick or two up the sleeve for the river.”


The 11 teams set off on October 23 for the second leg of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race, referred to as Race 3: Spinlock South Atlantic Showdown, which takes the fleet 3555nm from Punta del Este, Uruguay to Cape Town, South Africa.The fleet is due to arrive in Cape Town between November 7 and 11.

Race detailsSkipper listRace routeTrackerFacebook

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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