Clipper Race crosses Pacific Ocean
Published on April 28th, 2022
After a two year postponement due to COVID-19, the 2019-20 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race completed its sixth of eight leg circumnavigation, with the fleet of 11 boats finishing the 6100 nm course across the North Pacific from the Philippines to Seattle, WA.
Claiming the leg victory was WTC Logistics, having recorded its fastest boat speed at 23.5 knots. “Well what can I say?” said Skipper Dan Jones. “Truly awesome ocean racing – 35 days at sea and the whole fleet will finish within 24hrs! Achieving first place on my first race as the Skipper of WTC Logistics and I’m so proud of what we have achieved as a team.
“The crew started as enthusiastic sailors and finished as a well oiled race team, pushing harder each day as we built confidence in our sailing and tactical decisions. We sailed against ourselves rather than being swayed by the choices of other boats, not getting distracted always looking at the bigger picture.
“The crew can go away from this race standing tall, having achieved something outstanding.”
Almost 90 new and returning amateur crew members from 21 countries across the globe had completed seven days of intensive training prior to the start, which for some was re-familiarizing themselves with the 70-foot one design boats, and for others was a vital orientation prior to the harsh leg.
As runner-up, Unicef team Skipper Ian Wiggin was pleased with their performance. “To race across the North Pacific and to arrive in Seattle with no breakages or sail damage demonstrates the hard work, focus, and care from the crew. I could not be more proud.”
The final podium team was Punta del Este led by Skipper Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez: “All the boats finishing such a long race so close to each other shows the competitive spirit of the teams. I am so proud of my team for doing so well unconditionally – whether they were in the freezing cold, during all the squalls and the light winds. We made it and the taste of finishing is even sweeter!”
On April 30, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet will continue its epic circumnavigation. The 7200nm seventh leg will take the fleet down the West Coast of North America to Panama, where it will transit the Panama Canal, sail through the Caribbean and up to first time Host Port Bermuda.
After some much needed R&R, the eleven ocean racing yachts will head to New York, before racing across the North Atlantic to Derry~Londonderry for the city’s Maritime Festival on July 20–24 of which the sailing fleet is the centerpiece. Then there’s one final sprint, with London’s Royal Docks hosting Race Finish.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht 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 2019-20 Clipper Race got underway September 1 for the fleet of eleven identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. As the most subscribed round the world race, the 12th edition had attracted 688 crew representing 43 nationalities for the 41,000+ nm course.
However, when the fleet arrived in Asia, the COVID-19 pandemic blocked the fleet from the planned routes in China. The 11 Clipper 70s have remained at Subic Bay Yacht Club in the Philippines since March 2020 after organizers and Race Crew were forced to return home due to pandemic restrictions, with the restart taking place in March 2022.
Source: Clipper Race