Clipper Race: Late but worth the wait

Published on January 12th, 2020

(January 12, 2020; Day 21) – The final results for Race 5 of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race hinged on the stop watch for the 3415nm course from Fremantle, Australia to The Whitsundays, Australia.

As Race 5 was run on elapsed time with three boats, Punta del Este, Visit Sanya, China and Unicef, starting 48 hours after the other eight teams, the final results were not immediately known.

Due to the light wind conditions, Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China made the difficult decision to cease racing and accepted tenth and eleventh place respectively. However, Unicef pushed on and their efforts earned them third place for the course.

After a gripping race and intense two day wait, Unicef crossed the finish line of Race 5 today at 20:48:50 UTC to secure the final tier of the podium after winner Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam and Imagine Your Korea.

Based on their elapsed time, Unicef had finished 1 hour and 17 minutes faster than GoToBermuda which dropped to fourth place.

Reflecting on the race, Skipper Ian Wiggan said: “The last 48hrs were tough because there weren’t the boats on the water and we were just chasing time but it’s great to be on the podium again, a great result for the crew and a great result for Unicef.

“Hopefully it will be the second of many, we’ve got plenty of stuff to work upon but if we just keep consistent and make good choices, it’s a long race there is still lots and lots of points available so if we keep going as we have been doing, I think we’ve got a good chance.”

Recognizing the efforts of the Scoring Gate section of the race, Punta del Este claimed the maximum three bonus points, closely followed by Visit Sanya, China which scooped two points, and crossing in third and claiming the final bonus point was Zhuhai.

Also revealed were the results from the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint with top honors going to Visit Sanya, China on completing the course fastest in a time of 35 hours 01 minute and 06 seconds, a margin of five and a half hours faster than the closest rival, to add three bonus points to its overall tally. Second fastest was Unicef, for two bonus points and third was Imagine your Korea which adds one point to its tally from Race 5.

The 11 teams will begin the 4280nm Leg 5/Race 6 from The Whitsundays to Sanya. China on January 18.


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Eight of the 11 teams set off on December 22 for the Leg 4/Race 5 of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race, which takes the fleet 3415nm from Fremantle, Australia to The Whitsundays, Australia. The absence of three teams was due to their delay in Leg 3/Race 4 (see below) with issues requiring them to return to port, finally finishing between December 19 and 20. The three remaining teams will begin Leg 4/Race 5 on December 24. The eleven teams are expected to arrive at the Whitsundays between January 9 and 12.

Delayed: After starting Leg 3/Race 4 from Cape Town, South Africa on November 17, 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. They finished in Fremantle, Australia on December 20 (12:24 UTC).

Collision: Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China were in Cape Town, South Africa for repair after an incident at the start of Race 4 on November 17 resulted in significant damage. Their race finally got underway on November 28, finishing in Fremantle, Australia on December 19 (07:50 UTC) and December 20 (03:11 UTC), respectively. A review of the facts found 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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