Clipper Race: Calm conditions

Published on October 28th, 2019

(October 28, 2019; Day 5) – As forecast, the 2019-20 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet is experiencing much lighter conditions on the fifth day of Race 3:The Spinlock South Atlantic Showdown.

The leaderboard continues to fluctuate and sees Visit Sanya, China top with Imagine your Korea, covering the most miles to be in second and Punta del Este in third. Racing continues to be close with less than 40 nautical miles separating the top half of the fleet.

Seumas Kellock, Visit Sanya, China Skipper, who completed the same ocean crossing two years prior reported: “This Southern Atlantic sailing really isn’t shaping up how I remember it, no grey skies, no water over the deck, no sopping wet foulies but I’m sure it will come in due course. Until then, we will enjoy the sunshine and pleasant sailing conditions.

“Now we’re in close company with Punta del Este, Imagine your Korea and Seattle (hello everyone) each of us driving hard to get the first points on the board in Leg 2 from the scoring gate.”

The scoring gate is between SG3 North at position 37°S 030°W and SG3 South at position 38°30’S 030°W and is marked on the Race Viewer. It lies to the north of the rhumb line and its aim is to encourage teams off the fastest route to be rewarded with race points.

The first three yachts to cross this gate will receive bonus points to add to their overall points tally. Around 200nm still to go, and looking at the current route of the fleet, it could be any of the top six teams to take home these points.

The pleasant conditions were felt across the fleet with Imagine your Korea skipper, Mike Surridge saying: “Sailing our magnificent sailing machine today has been a joy. Flat seas, sun and a light wind have enabled us to move steadily along the route and it would appear a touch faster than some today.”

Whilst being on deck is a pleasant place to be, crew have been kept busy trying to keep yacht speed high and gain miles on their competitors. Nick Leggatt, Skipper of Zhuhai reported: “Today has mostly been about light and variable conditions as a high pressure ridge passed over us ahead of an approaching frontal system.

“The team were kept quite busy with sail changes in the shifty winds: gybe, gybe, gybe, Code 2 down, Code 1 up, Code 2 down, Windseeker up, Yankee 1 up, Windseeker down, Staysail up.” As the South Atlantic low pressure system develops, teams are preparing for its arrival, with added rig and equipment checks.

Though there continues to be many distractions, Ian Wiggin, Unicef Skipper, explains: “Final prep is underway for the blow, although we do keep getting interrupted by passing whales, for which everyone downs tools immediately, and huge albatrosses, which attract only the ardent twitchers or those that enjoy any excuse to sit down, stop heaving sails or washing up, and take in the extraordinary scenery we are sailing through.”

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.

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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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