Clipper Race: Getting it right and wrong
Published on January 25th, 2020
(January 25, 2020; Day 6) – Well, it has been an extremely busy 24 hours for the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race fleet as slow conditions during Race 6 continue to frustrate and this has caused a really close-fought battle between Seattle, Imagine your Korea, Unicef, WTC Logistics, and Punta del Este.
All the Skippers are reporting on how close the competition is and how the weather is having such an impact on the race. The squalls are still in the mix and the Skipper’s strategy to handling these squalls continues to be a high priority.
Dare To Lead’s Skipper Guy Waites says: “Over the last 24 hours, we have been the fastest boat in the fleet, the slowest boat, and somewhere in between, much like everyone else. Such is the weather we experience, as we edge further and further north for the entrance to the Doldrums Corridor It’s strategy time. How do we play our hand?”
David Hartshorn, Skipper of Seattle says: “It is fascinating to see the different speed and course of the ground that other three yachts and ourselves are doing, in such a close proximity we are getting influenced by greatly differing winds. The winds are light and variable, both in terms of speed and direction.”
WTC Logistics Skipper, Rich Gould comments: “Each team seems to have been on the right and the wrong sides of squalls and wind shift this morning, with sometimes as little as half a mile separating the our little threesome of yachts, but each boat going wildly different directions, such is the way in the tropics.
“Miles that have taken all night to gain are won and lost on the cusp of a squall, as squalls approach trying to work out if they will help or hinder, it’s more like cat and mouse rather than the snakes and ladders of the last leg.”
The crew members have been celebrating both Burns Night and the Lunar New Year for China, Vietnam, and Korea.
On Imagine Your Korea, proud Scotswoman Gillian Donald is flying the St Andrews Flag and tucking into some delicious shortbread. Not to be outdone, her Korean teammates Yooyoun Cho and Inbeom Kim have been celebrating Korean New Year with some snazzy new outfits. Whether they were Scottish, Korean, or any of the many nationalities taking part in the Clipper Race, one thing really captured the imagination of the fleet in the last 24 hours. The rain!
The hot weather can make for quite sticky conditions. However, the heavens opened and it absolutely poured down. This was ideal for the crew members who were able to take an indulgent shower.
“At least we all had a really good rinse and managed to have a good clean and hair wash,” said GoToBermuda Skipper ‘Wavy’. “I felt like a new man afterwards.”
Delayed: Originally scheduled to begin on January 18, Leg 5/Race 6 – a 4280 nautical mile race from the Whitsundays, Australia to Sanya, China – was postponed twice, initially due to watermaker issues on three boats and then because of light winds. The 11 teams finally got underway January 22.
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