The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2013-14 fleet departed Brisbane, Australia today and headed for Singapore after a ‘Le Mans’ start to Leg 5 which ultimately ends in Qingdao, China.
HH 4347-Edit (2) - The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
Race 8 of the 16-race global series forms the first half of Leg 5 and the teams are competing for the Old Pulteney Navigator Cup in a very challenging 4500 mile course to Singapore.
As well as geographical and meteorological challenges with the potential for cyclones, there is the added threat of piracy, with skippers and their crews trained in precautionary responses. Although piracy incidents are very rare, skippers and their crews are trained in precautionary responses and race officials liaise closely with the regional piracy centre and British naval forces.
'Incidents of piracy are very rare but we have to take prudent precautions,' said Race Director Justin Taylor. 'The greatest challenge here will be the range of weather and navigational challenges as the fleet initially crosses ‘cyclone alley’ to the north of Australia and then negotiates the many islands en route.'
The fleet started racing at 1740 local time (0740 UTC) Sunday 12 January in a ‘Le Mans’ start offshore where the fleet lines up and hoists headsails at the allotted start time coordinated by a nominated skipper, in this instance, Gareth Glover aboard Qingdao.
Qingdao Skipper Gareth Glover said: 'This will be one of the most testing races of the global circuit which will push skippers and crews to their mental and physical limits. I am confident that our team is well prepared and we’re all excited to be heading for our ‘home’ port of Qingdao via Singapore.'
Event website: click here