Clipper Race: No space to hide
Published on December 4th, 2019
(December 4, 2019; Day 17) – Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race front-runner Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam has today gone into Stealth Mode, following the tactic of its rival Qingdao who, this morning, returned from hiding. Whether this was successful will be revealed tomorrow on the tracker.
For both teams, the competition is visual as well as tactical, as they are in sight of each other. Skipper Josh Stickland of Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam commented “The not so stealthy, Qingdao popped up behind us at sun rise! So the game of chess begins. Well, we best get our game faces and the kettle on then.”
Similarly, Qingdao First Mate, Rhiannon Massey, commented, “We’re currently sailing down wind and are now very clearly able to see Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam up ahead. This has definitely helped boost morale and got people going! Also, the jobs that need doing suddenly get done quicker, when you can see your target on the horizon.”
The estimated time of arrivals into Fremantle are currently forecasting both teams will arrive on December 7 between 1800 – 0000.
Meanwhile, there’s everything to play for when it comes to the current mid table teams. WTC Logistics Skipper, Mark Burkes, is equally as focused on improving his results and has the full support of his team.
“The crew on WTC Logistics want to win…now we have 1,000 miles to the finish,” said Burkes. “We are very close to GoToBermuda and Zhuhai. Imagine your Korea is over 100 miles ahead, but fluky airs lie ahead, meaning that third place is achievable for us all.”
Approximately 158nm separates fourth and sixth place.
Whilst the leading teams are enjoying some much needed sun, following their stint in the Roaring Forties, the teams that got a late start – Punta del Este, Unicef, and Visit Sanya, China – are all beginning to experience the colder conditions and are bracing themselves for what lies ahead.
Reports Punta del Este skipper Jeronimo Gonzales, “The temperature is dropping the more south we go, gloves and hats are a must, but we know this is temporary and it will warm up as soon as we start moving north into Australia.”
Unicef Skipper Ian Wiggin adds, “The wind has finally caught up with us! Gone, (at least for now) are those balmy Indian Ocean days of sunscreen, t-shirts and stars, and in their place are low clouds, white horses and, most importantly, faster boat speeds.”
For the arrival ETAs in Fremantle… click here.
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.
Delayed: After starting, Unicef diverted course on November 22 to Durban for crew member Andrew Toms to disembark and receive medical treatment for a suspected appendicitis, with the team returning to the race on November 27.
Collision: Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China were in Cape Town for repair after an incident at the start of Race 4 resulted in significant damage. Their race finally got underway on November 28, with a review of the facts finding Sanya, China to be at fault after a clear breach of the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 10 ‘On Opposite Tacks’. Details.
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