(December 2, 2019; Day 15) – Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam has relinquished its windward position, and the lead, to Qingdao after completing the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint. The chasing pack prepares to enter the sprint and the westerly yachts struggle in lighter winds; it has been a varied 24 hours during the fourth race of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race.
Due to the spread of the fleet each team will pass in different weather conditions and it won’t be until the last yacht has completed the course that the results of the Dell Rugged Ocean Sprint will be announced.
Zhuhai Skipper, Nick Leggatt reported: “Around 1000 (local time) we left the Roaring Forties. The weather does seem brighter and more mild, but I think it is a bit of a ‘calm before the storm.’ Not that we are expecting anything too dramatic, mind, but there is another frontal system approaching us from the west in the weather forecast.”
Across the fleet the break in weather has provided opportunities to make any repairs needed. Reports Dare To Lead Skipper Guy Waites, “With our newly repaired mainsail full on the hoist we are a contented ship, crew members are happy in their work, broad smiles of satisfaction yesterday following the successful raising of the boom from the traveller and hoisting the mainsail, celebrated with fresh coffee and flapjack”
At the other end of the fleet following a night of thunderstorms, Unicef experienced a much quieter day and although haven’t ground to a halt the team is struggling in the lighter winds. The easterly teams wait for the wind to veer and back and the westerly teams look forward to the wind building to carry them forward.
For the arrival ETAs in Fremantle… click here.
The 11 teams set off on November 17 for the Leg 3/Race 4 of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race, which takes the fleet 4750nm from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Australia. The majority of the fleet is due to arrive in Cape Town between December 9 and 14.
Delayed: After starting, Unicef diverted course on November 22 to Durban for crew member Andrew Toms to disembark and receive medical treatment for a suspected appendicitis, with the team returning to the race on November 27.
Collision: Punta del Este and Visit Sanya, China were in Cape Town for repair after an incident at the start of Race 4 resulted in significant damage. Their race finally got underway on November 28, with a review of the facts finding Sanya, China to be at fault after a clear breach of the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 10 ‘On Opposite Tacks’. Details.
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 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race gets underway September 1 for the fleet of eleven identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. This 12th edition has attracted 688 crew representing 43 nationalities for the 41,000+ nm course. The race finishes on August 8.
The course is divided into 8 legs and 15 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.
The Clipper 2019-20 Race Route:
The fleet departs from London, UK to Portimão, Portugal; across the Atlantic to Punta del Este, Uruguay; the South Atlantic to Cape Town, South Africa; across the Southern Ocean’s Roaring Forties to Fremantle, Western Australia; around to the Whitsundays on the east coast of Australia, back into the Northern Hemisphere to China where teams will race to Qingdao, via Sanya and Zhuhai; across the mighty North Pacific to Seattle, USA; to New York via the famous Panama Canal; to Bermuda and then it’s a final Atlantic crossing to Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland; before arriving back to London as fully proven ocean racers.
Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race