Clipper Race: Welcoming King Neptune
Published on February 1st, 2020
(February 1, 2020; Day 13) – As the rest of the fleet enter the Northern Hemisphere, the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race teams are continuing to implement the best strategy to continuously improve their performance.
“Crossing back into the Northern Hemisphere, it feels like a real milestone in the race for me, and feels as though we have really completed a large section of the race now,” notes Qingdao’s AQP, Rhiannon Massey.
This is clearly a special moment for the fleet as WTC Logistics Skipper, Rich Gould indicates: “For all crew crossing the equator is a special occasion, as in this day and age of jet travel, the number of people that get the opportunity to cross from one hemisphere to another by way of the sea is very limited.”
There were various invitations for King Neptune to come aboard – can we expect to see a visit from the King himself? Only time will tell. Perhaps he can have a word about the best strategy to implement for the rest of this leg?!
Each of the teams are planning their next plan of action with regards to battling the weather conditions.
Skipper of Dare to Lead Guy Waites reveals: “Sitting neatly between those two goals is a perfectly forecasted wind hole, a whopper of a wind hole that could leave us drifting for a whole day and where there are wind holes there are opportunities, so stand by for a potential reshuffle of the fleet!”
Unicef’s Skipper Ian Wiggin is looking to make efficiencies: “For now, we have been focused on trying to improve our upwind performance in order to make the boat more efficient. You would think that having sailed halfway around the world at this point, we would have this figured out by now. But as our sails stretch, different ideas are developed, and we keep experimenting.”
For David Hartshorn, Skipper of Seattle, it’s all about reacting to the ever-changing conditions.
“Our first few hours in the Northern Hemisphere were marked with some very fickle winds, constantly changing direction, making finding a tack that gave us anything like a decent course difficult, resulting in both loss of speed and ground against the rest of the fleet.”
Visit Sanya, China opted to go into Stealth Mode, Skipper Seamus Kellock revealed: “Now we’re sneaking along, no one knows where we are. Well we do. It has been a pretty uneventful past 24 hours, only a little squall this morning and a couple of tacks to maximise on those wind shifts but other than that it has been plain sailing really. We have been making good miles towards the scoring gate, but are unsure if we will be in the first three to it.”
The race couldn’t be tighter and as it stands Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam remain in pole position with WTC Logistics in second place, closely followed by Dare to Lead.
Motoring: In case of light winds and slow progress within the defined Doldrums Corridor, teams had the option to use their motor for prescribed amount of time and distance. Details.
Quarantine: Due to the coronavirus battle in China, all activities planned for the stopover in Sanya have been cancelled. Details.
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