Clipper Race: Qingdao clinches Cape Town
Published on November 8th, 2019
(November 8, 2019; Day 16) – The Spinlock South Atlantic Showdown delivered what it promised as a close fought standoff between the eleven identical 2019-20 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race teams played out along the entire 3,555 mile racecourse (Race 3 of this edition) before Qingdao clinched the win at 07:06:12UTC today.
Crossing the finish line beneath Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain after 16 days of racing, Chris Brooks, Skipper of winning Qingdao team, said: “I was always looking for an opportunity to get back into the fleet and then the two low pressure systems came together and it was the perfect opportunity to take one low pressure up and the other round and that was the turning point. It’s fantastic to win Race 3 and the welcome into Cape Town has been perfect.”
Brooks added: “The crew just keep on going, they are gelling as a team and it becomes more fluid. I can’t ask for more. All you can do is start each race with the outlook that you can win it and that’s what we are going to do; we will keep trying to win every one.”
In addition to eleven race points earned, the teams had two opportunities to score bonus race points; a fastest-to-the-line Scoring Gate and fastest-elapsed-time in the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint.
Qingdao will also pick up one point for coming third in the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint. Depending on any accrued penalty points, which will be established in the following weeks, this result should see Qingdao hold onto its spot on the overall leaderboard.
Forming the third of 15 individual races that make up the epic global route, almost 200 people from all walks of life, including a farmer, safari leader, teacher and student, have raced around the clock from the Uruguayan resort of Punta del Este to Cape Town, South Africa.
A far cry from their normal daily routines, these remarkable men and women have sailed on modern ocean-racing yachts through storms, waves higher than houses and freezing temperatures to reach Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, where they will be berthed for the coming ten days.
With ten teams making the final push of the 3,555 nautical mile race to Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, the drama of the race is not over yet with tactical decisions being constantly deliberated as the teams risk entering a zone of unsettling light winds, and the threat of a wind hole towards the coast.
GotoBermuda’s Capetonion Skipper David ‘Wavy’ Immelman has had a frustrating experience as he races the crew to his hometown, saying: “During the night we had a bit of bad luck with a couple of rain squalls coming in and heading us. That means that we were forced off our course to the finish making the final 200 nm a tighter beat. Let’s hope for a nice constant south/south easterly wind off the Cape in order to try to make it back.”
Skipper of Seattle, David Hartshorn, currently in fifth place on the leaderboard, reports: “This end, in what is now developing into a drag race for us to see if we can get 4th or 5th position.
“Then to make for more of a frustrating day ahead is the developing wind hole over the finishing line. It is showing zero wind in the Bay at Cape Town. Oh, and to make it more fun are likely to have to deal with 30-35 kts of wind before then, as the South Easterlies accelerate around the Cape of Good Hope and scream up the west coast of Africa. All within less than 200 miles!”
Currently sixth-placed, Visit Sanya, China’s Skipper Seumas Kellock said: “We are going to have another exciting evening in the South Atlantic. Some 50-60 miles off the coast, the wind is going to build into the high 30s and low 40s, giving us one final thumping before we reach Cape Town. Then, we enter the famed light and variable winds of table bay and surrounding waters so it’s not quite over yet and I imagine it will be a close run finish for us and the rest of the mid fleet.”
With all the teams now out of Stealth Mode, a tactical invisibility mechanism deployed once per individual race, you can watch progress as they take on the final hurdles towards the finish line via the Clipper Race Viewer. With the weather conditions predicted, there will be lots of opportunities for position changes in the final stretch to the finish line in Cape Town.
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