Most southerly route of the Clipper Race

Published on December 18th, 2023

The 11 teams competing in the 2023-24 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will begin Leg 4 of their circumnavigation on December 19 from Fremantle, Australia.

The fourth leg is divided into two stages, with the first part sending the fleet on a 2,500nm course around the south of Australia up to Newcastle, New South Wales. This race is set to be a real test with breezy conditions predicted.

“Because of the weather conditions from the beginning of this race, it’s looking to be quite a tough start,” noted Deputy Race Director Dale Smyth. “Traditionally here there are a lot of southerlies that blow, so it’s quite a hard beat right down until the fleet gets past Cape Leeuwin.

“Even then, it’s still a challenge trying to break through an area of high pressure until they get far south enough to start getting some westerlies. Once the teams are down in the south, they should get some good running conditions.

“The fleet will be going to the most southerly point of the circumnavigation, as the teams round the bottom of Tasmania, and then across the infamous Tasman Sea, where they can expect the infamous ‘southerly busters.’ After this, there will be a very tactical sail up to Newcastle against the East Australia Current.”

While some people do the full circumnavigation, there are 72 new crew joining the Clipper Race for Leg 4, which will see the fleet sail into two iconic Aussie ports: Newcastle, NSW for the first half and then finish in Airlie Beach, Queensland. Among the crew are thirteen Australians who will be sailing around their home country.

The fleet has an arrival window of January 1 to 4 in Newcastle, Australia.

Race detailsTeam listRace routeTrackerFacebook

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:

Leg 1
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

Leg 2
Race 3. Punta Del Este, Uruguay – Cape Town, South Africa (3555 nm)- 22 Oct Race start, arrive 6-10 Nov

Leg 3
Race 4. Cape Town, South Africa – Fremantle, Australia (4750 nm) – 16 Nov Race Start, arrive 8-13 Dec

Leg 4
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

Leg 5
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

Leg 6
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

Leg 7
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

Leg 8
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

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