Clipper Race: They shoot, they score

Published on November 26th, 2019

(November 26, 2019; Day 9) – The Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race Scoring Gate results are in for Race 4, positioned approximately 135 nm due north of the rhumb line, which offered the opportunity for the first three teams that pass through the gate to gain bonus points.

The race for points had been hampered by a low pressure system emerging and another expected to follow, with the light airs slowing progress that is typically generated by the Roaring Forties.

Qingdao was first to cross at 21:46:30 UTC on the 24 November, taking the maximum three bonus points. Following Qingdao was Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam which crossed later that day at 23:53:12 UTC, gaining two points, and crossing in third place and claiming the final bonus point was Imagine your Korea at 17:08:50 UTC on 25 November. Third place was closely fought by Imagine your Korea and Zhuhai.

“Yesterday we pushed hard for the Scoring Gate but the problem was that we were racing a boat that we couldn’t see and was outside the AIS range,” said Imagine Your Korea Skipper Dan Smith. “The wind in the south should have been better and from what we could tell from the last two scheds [updates from the Race Office] leading up to the point where the scoring gate started, that we were faster – indicating less wind for Zhuhai further North.”

Nick Leggatt, Skipper of Zhuhai adds: “We came to such an abrupt stop just before the Scoring Gate that Qingdao actually contacted us to find out if everything was OK and we hadn’t broken anything! Thanks for the concern! There really is a great amount of sportsmanship between the teams in the Clipper 2019-20 Race.”

Currently at the back of the racing fleet is Seattle. Skipper David Hartshorn is expectant of a push of increasing winds, commenting: “We are currently on a close reach, with the Yankee 3 and a full main, awaiting the imminent arrival of a front, with the associated increase of winds, shift in the true wind direction and then change of sea state.”

Ahead of the change in weather conditions, which is expected in the coming days, Skippers and crews are busy preparing. GotoBermuda Skipper David ‘Wavy’ Immelman says: “With the second of the low pressures heading our way we are prepping the yacht for a bumpy ride. Putting out the trisail in a moment, lashing it to the mast and having a plan B in place just in case.”

As the teams face the somewhat unpredictable conditions, Unicef, diverted to Durban for the medevac of crew member Andrew Toms, reached its destination this evening.

Collision: Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China remain in Cape Town for repair after an incident at the start of Race 4 resulted in significant damage. After a review of the facts, Sanya, China was deemed to be at fault after a clear breach of the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 10 ‘On Opposite Tacks’. Details.

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.

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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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