Day 23 – As the front runners are on the home straight in Race 6 for the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race, the weather is expected to play havoc on the teams which could still shuffle the order. The cushy lead once held by Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam has lost all its comfort.
Skipper Rich Gould of fifth place WTC Logistics explains: “Although we are flying along at the moment, sadly this will not last all the way to the finish line, some 324 miles away. As we turn south to run down the west coast of Luzon Island, the wind will go light and shifty.”
Skipper of seventh place Unicef Ian Wiggan reports: “There is a huge wind hole facing the leaders stretching most of the length of the West Coast of Luzon and the last 300 miles of Race 6. Without wanting to wish too much misfortune on our fellow racers, it would be great if they got snarled up in it, allowing the good ship Unicef to sweep past to a long odds victory.”
Speaking of tactics, Stealth Mode has been engaged by both Dare To Lead and Qingdao and that will certainly add to the overall excitement to the conclusion of this race.
Dare To Lead Skipper explains: “Whilst the fleet ahead are pondering their wind hole strategy we are reaching up the Luzon coast for our virtual racing mark in the Luzon Strait some 100 miles away, so before we run out of time let’s spice things up a bit… we’ve just vanished into Stealth Mode!”
There is still so little to separate the teams and as was shown during Race 1 to Portimao, the weather can block those at the front from seizing victory.
The dicey conditions have delayed progress a day to how now the first teams aren’t expected to arrive in Subic Bay until February 13. For finish ETAs, click here.
Delayed: Originally scheduled to begin on January 18, Leg 5/Race 6 – a 4280 nautical mile race from the Whitsundays, Australia to Sanya, China – was postponed twice, initially due to watermaker issues on three boats and then because of light winds. The 11 teams finally got underway January 22.
Course change: The fifth leg was to be divided into three races (6, 7, 8), with the first race to finish in Sanya, China. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, a course change was enacted and the fleet will skip Sanya and now finish where the second race was to conclude in Subic Bay, Philippines.
Motoring: In case of light winds and slow progress within the defined Doldrums Corridor, teams on Race 6 had the option to use their motor for prescribed amount of time and distance. 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
Published on February 11th, 2020