Clipper Race: Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam tops Race 9
Published on March 15th, 2020
(March 15, 2020; Day 5) – Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam has claimed its second win of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race after yesterday crossing the 750nm Race 9 finishing line at 20.07.22 UTC in first place ahead of competitors Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China which finished in second and third place respectively.
“The team are feeling good and rightly so they really got stuck in from the get go, and a big thanks for their patience with me – it was nerve wracking stuff,” said Skipper Josh Stickland. “The weather conditions could not have been better for the Leg 6 crew to start their adventure. It was the classic triangle course that had all the elements of sailing up wind beam reach down wind and of course a wind hole.
“We are very happy with the second win, but we are only focusing on the next race now it’s the North Pacific and that’s all anyone is thinking about.”
Race 9 was short but sweet and was full of strategy and excitement. Without doubt, it was one of the closest races so far with the majority of the fleet staying within 25nm of each other for the duration of the offshore course. The conditions were generally good with favorable winds which resulted in some energetic and high intensity racing on all points of sail.
Light winds at the northern part of the course saw the fleet compress with Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam and second-placed Punta del Este taking advantage of the increased wind speed after rounding the mark and entering the third sprint section.
“Race 9 was as a race as it should be with speed, good breeze, wind holes, sailing fights at close quarters and lots of change in positions,” said Punta del Este Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez. “During the third Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint Punta del Este again fought hard with Visit Sanya, China and Unicef knowing that the inevitable frustration that comes with wind holes would impact us at some point.
“Whilst slowly gaining on Visit Sanya, China the crew were constantly trimming the sails day and night..Marginal gains are everything when racing a matched fleet and mistakes must be kept to a minimum. We did it in the end, holding our breath until the last minute.”
The ninth race in the Clipper 2019-20 Race edition, named The WTC Logistics Tri-Race, was the shortest race of the circumnavigation after the route was amended. The fleet sailed the triangular course out of Subic Bay in the Philippines into the South China sea.
Each team could opt to take part in two out of the three Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprints and Skippers had to declare their intentions within six hours of Race Start.
For the top three fastest teams in each sprint there is the added bonus of being awarded extra points – of which could make all the difference in both this races’ results as well as the overall leaderboard.
RACE 9 RESULTS AND FINISH TIMES
Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam – 20.07.22 UTC
Punta del Este – 20:29:11 UTC
Visit Sanya, China – 20:47.32 UTC
Seattle – 21:36:28 UTC
Unicef – 21:48:06 UTC
Zhuhai – 22:38:06 UTC
WTC Logistics – 22:42:16 UTC
Go To Bermuda – 22:53:50 UTC
Dare To Lead – 22:55:50 UTC
Qingdao – 23:04:50 UTC
Imagine Your Korea – 02:54:00 UTC
Race 10 will depart Subic Bay for the North Pacific Ocean on March 21 and the arrival window into Seattle stands as April 19-24.
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 during Race 6 from The Whisundays 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. The course for Race 7/8 took 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.
Furthermore, the original course for Races 9 and 10 of the sixth leg had to be revised as the Chinese ports of Zhuhai and Qindao were not deemed safe to visit. Race 9 is now a 750 nautical mile triangular course in the South China Sea, starting and finishing in Subic Bay, with Race 10 to start in Subic Bay before extending across the Pacific Ocean to Seattle, USA.
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