Clipper Race: This race is a race
Published on December 6th, 2019
(December 6, 2019; Day 19) – The finale for the frontrunners in Race 4 of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race is close and with only three nautical miles separating Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam and Qingdao, much of the result will be decided by tactics used around challenging weather systems.
“The breeze has finally freed us and we are now cracked sheets on a fine reach,” said Qingdao Skipper Chris Brooks. “These boats really get up and go on this point of sail and so long as we stay like this it makes third place less of a threat.”
Quest for third place continues and current race position reports favor Imagine your Korea, which has resurfaced from Stealth Mode. This tactical decision has paid off as the team is in a prime position for seizing that all-important third podium spot.
Skipper Dan Smith, who isn’t settling for third place just yet, commented: “There’s healthy margin behind us and the leaders obstinately stuck between us and the finish (albeit coming back to us a little more at each position update). Each schedule is eagerly studied for any glimpse of opportunity, and the team on deck keeps trimming, keep each other focused on the helm.”
Meanwhile WTC Logistics has taken the decision to activate Stealth Mode and is due to resurface on the race viewer today at 17.59 UTC. GoToBermuda Skipper David (Wavy) Immelman paid homage to this decision taken by his fellow Skipper: “Another night at an angle and a few sail changes to try and keep to our north easterly heading. Looking back all the time at Mark and Dan on WTC Logistics, when suddenly they have gone into Stealth Mode. Now we have to wait for 24 hours to see how we are doing, while they can see us. Good call Mark.”
Weather systems are playing havoc with the rest of the fleet with extremes at both ends of the weather-spectrum. Seattle Skipper David Hartshorn reports: “Our target for today was 1,050nm to go at the lunchtime meeting today, two hours away at the time of writing, we are 75 short. Also the barometer has stayed at the same level for about 12 hours now suggestion we are just keeping pace with the low pressure system and stuck in the same place relative to it.”
Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China are both entering the Roaring Forties and the teams are enjoying the thrill of the chase as Skipper Seumas Kellock states: “Yesterday Carl hit our top boat speed with a 27.5 knot surf, let the competition begin!”
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