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The Clipper Race - Yachts restart Race nine to Qingdao, China

by Ruth Harrington on 3 Mar 2014
Yachts restart Race nine to Qingdao, China - 2013 - 14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race
2013 - 14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - The first nine yachts of the Clipper Race fleet have departed Hong Kong and restarted Race nine after completing repairs to the forestay bottlescrews.

Great Britain, Derry Londonderry Doire, Invest Africa and Mission Performance left Middle Island - part of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club - Saturday evening local time (+8 hours UTC) while Switzerland departed on Sunday morning.

All teams have since restarted Race nine after crossing the restart gate. Race nine will be decided upon elapsed times into Qingdao, China. The start times of each of the fleet will be listed in due course.

Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance, said: 'It was very interesting this morning as within 15 minutes the wind changed from five knots to 30 knots. Life is going to start getting more and more uncomfortable as we make our way towards the Taiwan Strait, and it is already too cold to be on deck in anything less than full foul weather gear, thermals and hats!'

Rich Gould, skipper of Invest Africa, said: 'It's looking like it is definitely going to be a bit of a bumpy ride going north, the big question is will we make it out of the northern end of Taiwan Strait before the big breeze gets there? Only time will tell...wish us luck.'

Simon Rowell, meteorologist for the Clipper Race, said: 'There's a much colder tongue of water along the Chinese coast, so I expect that the further offshore you are the less the chances of fog will be.

'The current has changed somewhat too, with the monsoon-driven component on the Chinese coast side getting stronger. This will at least improve the sea state. The wind over the next few days is mostly north east, there will be lulls in that but the synoptic situation is reasonably steady, with no depression forecast to start up for the next four days or so.'

Team Garmin, Old Pulteney, Qingdao and Henri Lloyd all arrived overnight and departed at 1400 local time (Sunday) after the repairs.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said of the repairs: 'This is a new fleet and inevitably there are things that need adjusting. The bottlescrews are a pretty vital part of the rig. I have been lashing it instead of using a rigging screw the way you I do on my Open 60, which is a racing machine, a Ferrari if you like.

'The crews were all prepared when they arrived into Hong Kong so we could get on with it very quickly.

'There are always adjustments needed with new boats and little things that need looking at. It’s not the end of the world because the skippers were onto it very quickly.

'There was no alternative. It wasn’t just a question of possibly losing a mast, it was a question of safety so we had to take action instantly.'

Jamaica Get All Right is expected to arrive in Hong Kong on Monday morning while PSP Logistics and OneDLL are due on Tuesday morning.

The daily race reports will restart on Monday morning, you can also keep up to date by following the Clipper Race twitter feed.

The fleet is expected to arrive into Qingdao between 10-12 March.
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