Clipper Race: Trade winds fulfill dreams
Published on February 6th, 2020
(February 6, 2020; Day 18) – The 11 teams in the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race continue their north west course towards Subic Bay in the Philippines. While Skipper Josh Stickland and his crew onHa Long Bay, Viet Nam have a 70nm lead on the fleet, there is a close battle for second place between Qingdao, Visit Sanya, China, Imagine your Korea, and Punta del Este with WTC Logistics also striving to increase its position.
The trade winds continue to ease the passage of the team’s journey which will take them through the Luzon Strait all the way to the Philippines.
Skipper of Unicef, Ian Wiggin says: “We have great sailing conditions again today. The trade winds are everything that we were dreaming of. We are fizzing along at 11-12 knots under spinnaker and eating up the miles.”
Qingdao Skipper Chris Brooks reveals: “All aboard are very happy and the temperature is becoming more and more tolerable each day. These trade winds are fast and exciting and the sailing is much fun. Looking forward to the next few days to see how this is all going to unfold.”
Seumas Kellock, Skipper of Visit Sanya, China is in agreement with these favourable conditions:
“It’s been a fantastic 24 hours here under Code 2; flying along at 11 knots plus. Were clocking up the miles that we failed to earlier on in the leg. I remember this leg on the last edition and the trades although more established, weren’t as strong and we would only make 9 knots every hour and the heat was unbearable so I’m thankful for these stronger winds making up for lost time.”
Dare To Lead Skipper Guy Waites explains: “We’ve sailed over 260 nautical miles in the past 24 hours, that’s an average of 11 knots, at that pace we’ll have the Luzon Straits looming on the horizon in a matter of five days. All in stark contrast to the early phase of this race from race start, through the Doldrums until we met the trade winds, that lasted 1900 miles at an average speed of 6.4 knots.
“Now it’s all pretty much straight line speed sailing and all in the company of Zhuhai, sometimes they are like our shadow at other times we are theirs, as we are right now following a tack line issue during the night when the code sail tripped itself free and forced an impromptu sail drop, pack and re-hoist”
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.
Course change: The fifth leg was to be divided into three races (6, 7, 8), with the first race to finish in Sanya, China. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, a course change was enacted and the fleet will skip Sanya and now finish where the second race was to conclude in Subic Bay, Philippines.
Motoring: In case of light winds and slow progress within the defined Doldrums Corridor, teams on Race 6 had the option to use their motor for prescribed amount of time and distance. 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