Clipper Race arrives in Uruguay
Published on October 12th, 2023
After the 11 teams in the Clipper 2023-24 Round the World Yacht Race departed from Puerto Sherry, Spain on September 15, Yacht Club Punta del Este won the 5,300-mile race across the Atlantic when they reached the finish line of Race 2 on October 11 in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Marking the first major ocean crossing of the circumnavigation, the North to South Atlantic passage – which has taken the team over 26 days – is notorious for its testing and varied conditions and can challenge even the most experienced of sailors.
The winning skipper, 33-year-old Uruguayan Nano Antia Bernardez, was raised in the town.
“Every day, the crew have been pushing their limits, getting out of their comfort zones,” noted Bernardez. “I’ve been teaching them the details, and they are a really, really special crew. We have kept the pressure on from Puerto Sherry to Cape Verde, across the Atlantic and then all the way to here!
“The other teams made me so nervous! I felt a lot of pressure sometimes, as I thought they were going to take out my dream! But I have so much respect for Perseverance, they were racing so well and really going for it. It is really amazing having super competitive teams around, it’s making the race so enjoyable.”
He had sailed into his hometown three times on the Clipper Race – twice as crew and now as a Skipper. “I wanted to arrive fast! Arriving into Punta the first time [2017-28 edition] was the first time I had done an ocean crossing, and now as a Skipper and the winner of this race – just seeing my crew enjoying themselves, that is all that I needed. To see so many people waiting here to give me a hug was amazing. I feel privileged to have so many friends here.”
Clipper Race Director Mark Light added, “Nano joined the Clipper Race about seven years ago, and it was where he pretty much learnt to sail. He joined the 2017-18 edition as crew, and I knew from the minute he turned up to training he had the mentality of ‘if I’m going to take on this race, I’m going to take on the whole thing’.
“At that point he became the first Uruguayan to circumnavigate with the Clipper Race, and everyone knew he was really standing out, he had the desire to go further. Nano excels with his energy, his resilience and his ability to get on with people, and to motivate and lead.
“A very well earnt win on the racetrack, and we’re glad to have him on board as one of our Skippers.”
Yacht Club Punta del Este topped the leaderboard after Race 1, where it placed second but scooped three extra points for being the only team to tackle the Scoring Gate. The team has now maintained its place at the top after being the first to cross the line into Punta del Este and picking up an extra point earlier in Race 2 when it placed third in the Scoring Gate.
It’s now a waiting game to see if the team can push further into the lead when the results of the Ocean Sprint are announced on October 16 at the Race 2 Prizegiving ceremony.
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