Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race's first Atlantic leg underway

by Zoe Williamson on 13 Aug 2011
Clipper Round The World Yacht Race http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet entered the 3,850 mile first Atlantic leg which takes them from Madeira to Rio de Janeiro at 1630 local time (1530GMT).

In the strong north easterly trade winds, blowing twenty to twenty-five knots, the boats jostled for position and Geraldton Western Australia, who were early to the line had to put on the breaks to prevent themselves crossing early. The Western Australian entry took line honours but were closely followed by Derry-Londonderry who trimmed their sails at the right time to cross in second place. Visit Finland were third across followed by Singapore, Qingdao, New York, Welcome to Yorkshire, Gold Coast Australia, De Lage Landen and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital.

As the teams headed towards the turning mark off the coast of Machico, Geraldton Western Australia had stretched out a lead of eight boat lengths and was first to round the mark. Battling it to be second round the mark were the three podium placed boats in Race 1, New York, Gold Coast Australia and Visit Finland who rounded in that order with barely a quarter of a boat’s length between them. Next to turn was Welcome to Yorkshire followed by Derry-Londonderry, Qingdao, Singapore, De Lage Landen and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital.

Speaking before the start, winning skipper of Race 1, Richard Hewson from Gold Coast Australia, said, 'This will be the longest time on the water many of the crew will have ever spent. The last race was only nine days, this will be more than twenty days. Tensions will build, people will get tired and no doubt agitated. Everyone has just got to keep their cool, keep sailing the boat fast and keep focusing on the wind. Our main tactic is just to stay between the fleet and Rio.'

As the fleet heads south the teams will be influenced more and more by the North Atlantic high pressure system which will propel the yachts for many days at good average speeds in perfect trade wind conditions. Spinnakers are likely to be set constantly for as long as two weeks and this race will become a battle of the trimmers who keep the sails in the perfect shape for optimum speed.

The Canary Islands are on the direct route from Madeira to Rio and the decision whether to leave them to the east, sail through the middle or pass on the west could deliver one of the biggest turning points in this race. Get it wrong and the teams will be caught in the wind shadow of the huge mountains that extend for more than 100 miles out to sea.

As the fleet closes in on the Equator the teams will prepare for two things. Firstly, the dreaded Doldrums of the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) with large wind holes, squalls and unpredictable conditions which will try the patience of even the most stoical crew members. Secondly, a visit to the Court of King Neptune as crews ‘cross the line’ of the Equator and go from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere.

Skipper of Derry-Londonderry, Mark Light, says, 'This race is going to deliver lots of downwind sailing and the temperature will get warmer every single day. I think we are going to get some pretty difficult and testing conditions around the Doldrums, but it’s going to be a good race.'

The fleet is expected to arrive in Rio between the 2nd and 5th September, after which they will race back across the Atlantic to Cape Town, South Africa.

Clipper Round The World Yacht Race website
Wildwind 2016 660x82upffront 660x82Newport Boat Show 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - First Clipper 70 hits the UK
The first of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race’s new fleet of 12 70-foot ocean racing yachts arrived in Felixstowe. The first of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race’s new fleet of 12 70-foot ocean racing yachts arrived in Felixstowe UK last night, Monday 29 October 2012, marking the beginning of a new era for the race.
Posted on 31 Oct 2012
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to support youth cancer charity
For the Clipper Round the World Race, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Dame Ellen MacArthur will a launch charity initiative. For the world’s longest ocean race, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, British yachting icons Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Dame Ellen MacArthur will launch a charity initiative. 'It has never been the cancer that has worried me but the depression that came with it...Of all the medicines she had, this one - the trip - was the one that made her better!'
Posted on 18 Oct 2012
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Deputy Race Director appointed
Clipper Ventures has named Mark Light as Deputy Race Director of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Clipper Ventures has named Mark Light as Deputy Race Director of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Mark is an accomplished yachtsman and previous race skipper. 'I am absolutely delighted and feel very privileged to take on the role of Deputy Race Director,' said Mark Light.
Posted on 16 Oct 2012
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Victory for Gold Coast Australia
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race came to an exciting end today as thousands gathered to watch the fleet’s arrival. The Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race came to an exciting end today as thousands gathered to watch the fleet’s arrival in Southampton, UK. Gold Coast Australia secured the overall win, as the non-professional crews onboard all 10 ocean racing yachts marked the end of a 40,000 mile challenge of a lifetime.
Posted on 23 Jul 2012
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet on final phase
Clipper Round the World Race fleet are playing every last card up their sleeves in a battle for final podium position Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet are on the third day of race fifteen, from Den Helder to Southampton. As the ten 68-foot ocean racing yachts start their final full day of racing in the series, the teams are playing every last card up their sleeves in a battle for the final podium position.
Posted on 21 Jul 2012
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet face tightly packed finish
Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet are on the second day of race fifteen, from Den Helder to Southampton. Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet are on the second day of race fifteen, from Den Helder to Southampton. With just three days until the world’s longest ocean race concludes in Southampton, the ten strong teams of racing yachts face a tightly packed finish, as the teams fight it out for the final podium position
Posted on 20 Jul 2012
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet head to Southampton
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet started race fifteen, from Den Helder to Southampton, at 11:00 GMT, today Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet started race fifteen, from Den Helder to Southampton, at 11:00 GMT today, Thursday 19th July. As the fleet contended with fierce winds of 20-25 knots, De Lage Landen was first to cross the line in its home port, closely followed by Gold Coast Australia and Singapore.
Posted on 19 Jul 2012
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – Qingdao cross Race 14 finish
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - The Chinese entry Qingdao has arrived into the Netherlands Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet are on day seven of race fourteen from Derry-Londonderry to Den Helder. The Chinese entry Qingdao has arrived into the Netherlands after fiercely fighting the 800 mile race from Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland in the penultimate stage of the 40,000-mile Clipper Race.
Posted on 13 Jul 2012
Clipper Round the World Race - Singapore first over Race 14 finish
Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race - The final push for a podium position went down to the wire this morning Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet are on day six of race 14 from Derry-Londonderry to Den Helder. After a tough tussle with light winds the final push for a podium position went down to the wire this morning and crossing the finish line off the coast of the Netherlands at 0724 UTC, Singapore secured its first win in the Clipper 11-12 Race series with victory in race 14
Posted on 12 Jul 2012
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Race 14 finish fast approaching
In the Clipper Round the World Race, Race 14 has proved to be one of the most tightly contested of the 11-12 edition. In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, Race 14 has proved to be one of the most tightly contested of the 11-12 edition with places on the leader board continuing to change in the remaining hours of the 800-mile sprint to Den Helder on the northern coast of the Netherlands.
Posted on 12 Jul 2012