Storm postpones Clipper Race

Published on January 23rd, 2024

Following the win by Zhuhai in the Australian leg from Newcastle to Airlie Beach, which added their fourth consecutive podium place for the 2023-24 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the 11 teams are now in postponement for the 4515nm course from Airlie Beach, Australia to Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam.

Intended to start on January 22, a tropical low-pressure system likely to develop into a Category 3 cyclone was deemed too dangerous to proceed, with the fleet now to depart Airlie Beach on January 26.

The delayed departure remains subject to the weather on the day, but current plans are for the fleet to carry out a Parade of Sail and then complete MOB training drills and other Refresher Sailing maneuvers, before leaving Pioneer Bay and the Whitsundays.

Once clear, the fleet will motor-sail overnight 70nm down the coast to Mackay where the teams will complete Customs and Immigration clearance out of Australia.

The passage down should take approximately 12 hours and the fleet should arrive early morning in daylight on January 27. The yachts will temporarily berth at Mackay Marina for a few hours only, to allow the Australian Border Force officials to carry out their duties.

Once all formalities are complete, the fleet will depart and motor-sail out through the Great Barrier Reef to the Le Mans Start Area. This is a journey of 125nm through the Hydrographer’s Passage and should take 18 to 20 hours. The offshore Le Mans Start for Race 7 will take place at approximately 1000 LT (0000 UTC) on January 28 and this is effectively five days after the originally planned Le Mans Start.

Whilst the Clipper Race Office believes this is the most likely schedule based on the current weather forecasts, the above timings could alter as needed.

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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