Clipper Race: Docks filling in Freo

Published on December 10th, 2019

(December 10, 2019; Day 23) – Another day brings another new arrival from the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race into Fremantle, Australia. This morning it was Zhuhai’s turn to cross the Race 4 finish line, completing the course in sixth place at 0600 UTC.

Next to finish will be Dare To Lead and Seattle, with both teams instructing the Clipper Race Office that they would like to be placed in Stealth Mode. Seattle Skipper David Hartshorn, wary of giving away any advantage to their rivals, offered a limited update: “I could talk about what sails are up, what evolutions we have undertaken, but then the analyst team on Dare To Lead would be all over it, pouring over weather charts, looking to crack the code of where we are and how fast we are doing.”

Dare To Lead has just over 240nm until the team reach their destination and will be eagerly awaiting the updates to see where Seattle resurface when revealed from Stealth Mode at 2359 UTC late this evening.

As for the three teams that started late, Unicef is aware of the danger posed by both Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China and are cautiously watching the horizon for any sign of their two closest competitors.

Each day brings the teams closer to their destination, Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China are making amazing progress, using the weather to their advantage and keeping eyes firmly locked on their destination.

Visit Sanya, China’s Skipper, Seumus Kellock, stated: “The wind is dropping, but this sea state will be with us for a few days, I would imagine, which will make the next few days (as the wind decreases) very sloppy and difficult to helm in. Still, on the bright side, there is almost only 2000 nautical miles to go, Fremantle here we come!”

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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