Clipper Race: Restlessness in routing
Published on November 6th, 2019
(November 6, 2019; Day 14) – The third race of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race is providing great sailing conditions with Qingdao currently leading, followed by Punta del Este second, and Imagine your Korea in third having emerged from Stealth Mode yesterday evening.
This race was always destined to be close, and now the places chop and change as tactical routing comes into play for the final stretch across the South Atlantic.
WTC Logistics is looking to climb from eighth place but the team has a decision to make, as Skipper Mark Burkes explains: “As the southernmost boat in the fleet there is now a dilemma for us. Do we go now and head straight for Cape Town, burning our angle advantage on approach, or do we follow our routing software and keep on keeping on just south of east and ride the backing winds northwards and therefore reach into Cape Town when others are beating?”
Whilst conditions are somewhat brisk for the fleet, dreams of sailing into a sunny Victoria and Alfred Waterfront with Table Mountain as a spectacular backdrop are soon to become a reality and all eyes and minds are on the sought-after podium positions.
Visit Sanya, China’s Skipper, Seumas Kellock reflects: “So, we are not far from the end now, it’s been a great couple of days here, winds in the region of 30 knots, the boat cruising along at an average of 11 knots with some great surfing opportunities for the crew to compete for the top speed. It’s going to be a close right up until the notoriously fickle winds of Table Bay and the finish.”
While Skipper of Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam Josh Stickland reports: “We are currently 684 nautical miles from Cape Town at the time of typing, 0412 your time and there are six boats including us, all vying for those elusive podium spots and it’s still anyone’s to win or lose. I’m very impressed by the concentration and focus of the crew.”
Elsewhere in the South Atlantic, Unicef is currently in Stealth Mode, and will be visible on the Race Viewer again at 00:00 UTC tomorrow. Whilst during the 24 hour period, they are only visible to the Race Office, they seem to have been spotted…
Skipper Ian Wiggin has reported: “The standout event from yesterday was nearly hitting a great white shark. The shark was spotted at the last minute heading under our bow. I have seen many sharks before but nothing like this. The biggest sharks I had seen before were hammerheads and basking sharks. This monster dwarfed them all.
“At first, the thick muscular dorsal fin reminded me of an Orca (killer whale). The wheel was turned hard over to try and avoid hitting it. Luckily, it passed close down the port-side of Unicef, and, as with all good fishy tales, size estimates vary according to different eye witnesses.
“I would estimate that the dorsal fin was around 4ft and the shark to be around 20 to 25 feet long. Put it this way, I feared we were about to lose a rudder.”
The Punta del Este team have also declared their wish to hide in Stealth Mode, making the last update of their position on the Race Viewer at 1200 UTC today, returning at 1200 UTC tomorrow. How will this affect their second place position? Find out tomorrow…
For the estimated arrival times, click here.
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.
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