Clipper Race: Life on the lean
Published on February 26th, 2020
(February 26, 2020; Day 3) – The eleven teams in the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race have been beating upwind and heading north towards Virtual Mark Massey, named after Qingdao’s First Mate Rhiannon, during this revised course for Race 7.
It’s been a bumpy ride as the fleet approaches the southern tip of Taiwan but they are making good progress, with only 10nm separating the top four (Qingdao; Unicef; Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam; and Punta del Este).
Says GoToBermuda Skipper, David ‘Wavy’ Immelman: “We are back to life at an angle. It feels great after life on the drift. But it was a bit of a rude awakening for some, and unfortunately with the bumpy and leanie, also comes the green monster. I had hoped he had left us but no.”
Declarations for the double Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprints needed to be made within 48 hours of Race Start and so have now been revealed. Nine teams will be competing for Ocean Sprint North, leaving just two going for Ocean Sprint South.
Teams have declared as follows:
Imagine your Korea – North
GoToBermuda – North
WTC Logistics – South
Punta del Este – North
Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam – North
Dare To Lead – North
Zhuhai – North
Visit Sanya, China – North
Unicef – North
Qingdao was happy to only have one rival for its chosen sprint. “So the complexity of the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint worked in our favour and now only one other boat has come for our sprint,” notes skipper Chris Brooks. “That means nine out of eleven boats chose the same sprint.
“We chose the one we thought may suit us best. We are good at reaching and downwind and only mediocre upwind unless there’s a bigger tactical influence, so we chose the one most likely downwind given prevailing conditions. So a guaranteed two points minimum. Our sprint competitor is WTC Logistics. No doubt continuing on the theme of overtaking each other with a storm jib up will have some bearing on our times.”
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 finished in Subic Bay, Philippines.
Additionally, Races 7 and 8 were combined to avoid the Race 8 finish port of Zhuhai, China. Starting on February 25, the course now takes the fleet north from the Philippines, across the Luzon Strait and around the western most cluster of the Japanese Ryukyu Islands before returning to Subic Bay for the finish. The combined race is expected to take 8-10 days.
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