The Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race got underway August 20 for the fleet of identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s, with the 11 teams on the verge now of completing the 40,000nm course on July 28.
Following the start of the final race on July 22, the anti-clockwise course around Ireland to Liverpool is expected to take five days. The final race will conclude with a thrilling sprint finish up the River Mersey on July 28, towards the Royal Albert Dock.
While all the teams will celebrate completing their epic adventure, only three teams are in the running to claim the Clipper 2017-18 Race trophy. Wendy Tuck’s Sanya Serenity Coast leads Nikki Henderson’s Visit Seattle and Chris Kobusch’s Qingdao by 14 points, but victory is far from secure.
Visit Seattle has left it to the last opportunity to use its Joker Card, which will double its race points, and with bonus point opportunities available in the Sprint Finish, it really is too close to call. Only one team can raise the trophy, but which will it be?
Leg 8 is formed of two races, with the first being the 3000nm Race 12 from USA to IRL that got underway June 26 and Race 13 which began July 22 to return to the UK almost a year later for the final finish on July 28.
Background: Held biennially,
Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew that signs up for one, some, or all the races. The 2017-18 race, expected to take 11 months, has attracted 712 people representing 41 nationalities, making it the largest to date.
* Twelve teams began the first leg but one yacht (Greenings) ran aground just hours after the start on October 31 of the third leg from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Australia. The crew was safely evacuated but damage to the boat was deemed too extensive for it to continue in the 2017-18 edition.
Source: Clipper Ventures