Clipper Race en route to Uruguay
Published on September 15th, 2023
All 11 teams departed for Punta del Este in Uruguay as the second race in the Clipper 2023-24 Round the World Yacht Race left on September 15 from Puerto Sherry, Spain. This is the third consecutive edition for the global event to set sail for the Uruguayan city.
This stage is a 5300 nm challenge across the Atlantic Race and is named the ‘Hundred Years Cup’ in honour of the centenary Yacht Club Punta del Este is celebrating this year.
Looking forward, the fleet will face amazing downwind conditions and flukey winds around the Canary and Cape Verde islands. It’s then onto the Doldrums and crossing the Equator, bringing with it blistering heat and little movement. Once nearing the South American coast, trickier, stormier conditions are potentially on the cards, including the infamous Pamperos which can potentially cause winds of up to 70-80 knots.
Currently at the top of the Clipper Race leaderboard is Yacht Club Punta del Este, skippered by Punta local, Nano Antia Bernardez. The team placed second in Race 1 but having raced through the Scoring Gate and gaining three bonus points, the team is now top of the Race Standings.
Skipper Nano, who grew up on the shores of Punta del Este, is pleased to be sailing into his hometown. “This is super special to be representing the club in this race, on a yacht branded with the name of my hometown. Sailing to my city, knowing that my family is going to be there, it’s really emotional. Even just thinking about it gets me a little bit emotional.
“This is one of the most challenging races, because we go through mostly every condition that the ocean can serve up. It’s going to be super tactical. The motivation of going to Punta del Este is just going to be a boost of energy- it is going to be amazing.”
Also sailing home are two Uruguayan Race Crew – Eugenia Segovia, a Dentist from Montevideo, and Fernanda Nunez, a Cabinet Maker from Punta del Este. Both are racing on board Yacht Club Punta del Este.
“Living half of my life in the UK and half of my life in Uruguay, I feel that this is quite something, sailing from England to Uruguay,” noted Nunez.” My yacht is the name of the town I was born in! I am so proud. We are so excited to be sailing home now!
“I’m also feeling nervous. The first race was around 10 days at sea, which was intense, and now we have five weeks so it’s going to be interesting! Our team is amazing.”
Segovia added, “It’s like a dream come true. Sailing home is the best thing I could ever think about, it’s just awesome. A lot of friends and family are going to be in Uruguay to meet us, it will be amazing.”
Race 2 had a competitive start with Dare To Lead crossing the line in first, then UNICEF and Perseverance followed in second and third. Mark Light, Race Director sums up the start from on the water:
“It is a stunning day on the water with lovely conditions. The sun came out for the fleet for the start of Race 2. There was a south-south westerly breeze of about 15 knots, which is perfect for the start. It was a very very competitive start with lots of supporters on the start line and it’s great to get the fleet off to Punta del Este.
“I know Dare To Lead had a really good start across the line and the boats looked great powered up. Once the teams crossed the start line they started to get into their stride and bunch up a little bit. It looked like really good racing from the committee vessel. The conditions were really perfect for our Clipper 70s- a fast start and a clean start.”
The fleet has an expected arrival window of October 12-16.
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 2023-24 Round the World Yacht Race got underway September 3 for the fleet of eleven identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. This 13th edition has 24 crew aboard each yacht, coming from 63 different nationalities (105 sailors from the USA) for the 40,000 mile circumnavigation of the world.
The course is divided into 8 legs and 14 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.
2023-24 edition will take the following route:
Race 1. Portsmouth, UK – Puerto Sherry, Spain (1200nm) – 3 Sept Race Start, arrive 9 Sept
Race 2. Puerto Sherry, Spain – Punta del Este, Uruguay (5300nm) – 15 Sept Race Start, arrive 12-16 Oct
Race 3. Punta Del Este, Uruguay – Cape Town, South Africa (3555 nm)- 22 Oct Race start, arrive 6-10 Nov
Race 4. Cape Town, South Africa – Fremantle, Australia (4750 nm) – 16 Nov Race Start, arrive 8-13 Dec
Race 5. Fremantle, Australia – Newcastle, Australia (2510nm) – Race Start 19 Dec, Arrival 1-4 Jan 2024
Race 6. Newcastle- Airlie Beach, Australia (985nm) – Race Start 10 Jan, Arrive 16-17 Jan
Race 7. Airlie Beach, Australia – Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam (4515nm) – Race Start 22 Jan, Arrive 16-21 Feb
Race 8. Ha Long Bay– Zhuhai, China (645nm) – Race Start 27 Feb, Arrive 2-3 March
Race 9. Zhuhai, China – Qingdao, China (1370nm) – Race Start 9 March- Arrive 18-19 March
Race 10. Qingdao- Seattle, USA (5580nm) – Race Start 25 March, Arrive 19-24 April
Race 11. Seattle, USA – Panama Canal (4200nm) – Race Start 2 May, Arrive Panama 27 May-1 Jun
Race 12. Panama-Washington, DC, USA (1990nm) – Race Start 5 June, Arrive 17-19 June
Race 13. Washington, DC, USA – Oban, Scotland (3340nm) – Race Start 25 June, Arrive 12-16 July
Race 14. Oban – Portsmouth, UK (815nm) – Race Start 21 July
Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race