Clipper Race: Charging towards Subic Bay
Published on February 9th, 2020
(February 9, 2020; Day 21) – The increased wind speed has seen the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race fleet charge towards the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint. Across the board, the teams have reported increased boat speeds and the varied change in conditions has introduced the newer crew members to a faster paced ocean racing environment.
As the 11 teams charge towards Subic Bay in Race 6 of the global series, Skipper of GotoBermuda, David ‘Wavy’ Immelman reports on the conditions: “We have had conditions throughout the spectrum, where the wind went from 0 knots for about an hour and a half. However, now we have just had just put reefs in as we are currently in 30 knots.
“It all started with the wind dropping and eventually dying all together, so kite down Windseeker up, Windseeker down and Yankee 1 and Staysail up. Slowly the wind built and we stayed with the Yankee 1 close hauled for a few hours, then it built fast, Yankee 1 down and Yankee 2 up, then Staysail down as it freed us up a bit and finally it was reefs in the main as it has built up to the high 20’s and low 30’s. This was our first reef the entire race, which goes to show how light it has been for the last 3000 nm.”
Whilst the increased wind speed has been unanimously welcomed; it hasn’t been without its challenges and some crew have experienced the ‘green monster’ or sea sickness. Seattle AQP (Additionally Qualified Mate), Lyndsay Barnes, explains:
“This morning we are beating along upwind under white sails again with not the nicest sea state. I kept being woken up to the sound of cheers and laughter in the night which seemed to coincide with a wave crashing over the deck and soaking everyone. Glad to hear they’re enjoying themselves.
“However, this is the first bit of real weather for the new joiners and there are certainly some apprehensive and ‘rabbit in headlights’ looks. Also, it looks like the green monster may have made a dreaded comeback for some.”
The battle for a podium place remains strong as Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam retain first place, Qingdao has seized second place, with Visit Sanya, China in third but Imagine your Korea remain in hot pursuit. There is a battle on in the Overall Race Standings and at this stage of the Clipper Race, every point will make the difference in the quest for a trophy.
Qingdao Skipper, Chris Brooks said: “We are still in that pack going for the silver cup and second tier of the podium, although the Race Viewer now shows us in second place. That just propels the drive more and it would be nice to say. What next as we set our sights on our bite-sized goals? We just have to keep on keeping on, continuous pressure and see where it takes us.”
With so little to separate the teams vying for a podium place, weather dependent, the Race Finish looks set to be an intriguing battle across the fleet as February 12 is set as the earliest estimated time of arrival into Subic Bay, Philippines.
For the finish ETAs, click here.
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