Clipper Race: Just like The Apprentice

Published on December 8th, 2019

(December 8, 2019; Day 21) – With the first three teams of Race 4 finishing yesterday, the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race still has eight teams continuing to navigate their way through their localized battles to the finish line in Fremantle, Australia.

Currently in fourth place, GoToBermuda Skipper David (Wavy) Immelman observed: “We have 180nm left. So with any luck we will be over the finish and tied up by this time tomorrow. However, and this is a big however, we are not out of the woods yet, as there is a very light patch of wind riding in behind us and if it does catch us, then we might well be out here a lot longer.”

Regarding the challenging conditions, Unicef Skipper Ian Wiggan explains: “This environment is tough on all of our equipment and our bodies. Daily, we are faced with problems and situations that we have never encountered before, and then with our resourcefulness and limited equipment we have to quickly come up with the best solutions. This race is just a REALLY big team building exercise. Similarities can be drawn between our lives and TV shows such as The Apprentice, although I think they have it much easier.”

For the arrival ETAs in Fremantle… click here.


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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

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