Clipper Race: intense competition

Published on June 10th, 2022

(June 10, 2022) – The 2019-20 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet is battling frustrating wind conditions during this tactical Race 12: Go To Bermuda and there has been another, intense competition for Scoring Gate points.

Scoring Gates are virtual gates where the first yacht to pass through secures three valuable bonus points, the second receives two and the third team is awarded one. These points are added to a team’s overall race points.

For this race, to the tropical destination of Bermuda, the 28nm Scoring Gate was positioned approximately 50nm west of the most direct track (rhumb line) and approximately 120nm north of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Race 12: Go To Bermuda started fast and furious but as the teams navigate the Caribbean islands, prevalent wind holes have also caused slow progress at times with the fleet starting to spread out from each other and shake up the race positions.

Said Mark Light, Clipper Race Director, “There was a great battle for the maximum three bonus points as WTC Logistics charged towards the gate with Visit Sanya, China emerging from the stealthiest of stealth moves, and popping up right on their tail. GoToBermuda completed the trio of teams racing their way towards the gate at a decent pace.”

The first to reach the scoring gate was WTC Logistics who crossed at 22:04:22 UTC on June 8 2022, therefore taking the maximum three bonus points. The team was quickly followed by Visit Sanya, China who gained two bonus points when it crossed in second place at 22:53:47 UTC. Crossing the Scoring Gate in third place and claiming the final bonus point was home port team GoToBermuda who blasted across at 01:58:34 UTC on June 9.

With the belief his team had secured the sought-after points, Skipper Dan Jones of WTC Logistics reported today, “In an early celebration, Kaz and Rachael cooked a wonderful sponge cake now named ‘Gate Cake’ which was enjoyed by all as we loaded the last position report, crew crowded around the Nav station PC to see the update!”

Mark Light added, “Congratulations to Skipper Dan Jones, AQP Ineke van der Weijden and their team on board WTC Logistics, Skipper Mike Miller, AQP Mary Vaughan-Jones and the Visit Sanya, China team and Skipper David Immelman (Wavy), AQP Max Rivers, heading up the GoToBermuda team, as they excitingly near their team’s home port.”

Shortly after the Scoring Gate, the teams will compete in the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint and the scramble for points could shake things up ahead of the final leg.

Estimated times of arrival, between June 12-13, are to the finish line which is approximately 17nm from the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Please note that these are best estimates based on the latest weather and the average speeds of the fleet. Weather and tidal conditions will cause these times to change.

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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 Round the World Yacht Race media

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