Clipper Race: Dive, dive, dive
Published on November 19th, 2019
(November 19, 2019; Day 2) – The 11 teams in the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race are now lined up like soldiers, with bows nearly even and a difference of 35 nautical miles between them, descending southeast into the Indian Ocean toward the Race 4 finish in Fremantle, Australia.
After less than two days of racing, current overall leader Qingdao is already keeping a watchful eye on joker-playing and third place team, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam. A win for Skipper Josh Stickland and his team, would cause upset for Qingdao who has won two out of three races so far and wants to keep a hold of its record.
Says Qingdao Skipper Chris Brooks, “They pose a real threat to us on the leaderboard. Beyond this they also appear to be doing extremely well in this race and are leading the way for now. We will do all we can to provide some firm pressure on them as Qingdao want some records. The only boat to play a joker and win in this race would be one that really would be nice to retain and would help our overall position.”
The first day of racing took its toll on the crew with the upwind beat slow and the short choppy sea state stomach turning. With the wind starting to veer to the west, more so depending where in the fleet each team is, spinnakers were hoisted and since passing the Agulhas Bank, the surfing conditions that the southern latitudes are famed for start to appear.
“There is a three metre swell running at the moment, so we are making some steady progress surfing down the waves, although at times the seas have been quite rough over the shallow waters of the Agulhas Bank,” shared Nick Leggatt, skipper of Zhuhai. “As we get into deeper water, the seas are slowly becoming more consistent. In the last few hours the depth of the sea has gone from 200m to 4000m, and by the end of today we will be in 5000m deep water!”
The 11 teams set off on November 17 for the Leg 3/Race 4 of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race, which takes the fleet 4750nm from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Australia. The majority of the fleet is due to arrive in Cape Town between December 9 and 14.
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