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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet head to New York

by Isabel Hokken on 15 May 2012
The Clipper Race fleet Race 10 start - Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race Abner Kingman/onEdition
Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet started on the first day of race eleven from Panama to New York at 2330 UTC last night. Ahead lies around 2,100 miles starting with four days of hard upwind sailing before breaking out of the Caribbean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean. Like in previous races, in race eleven there is a Scoring Gate and the first three teams through gets awarded vital additional points. There is also an Ocean Sprint further on in the race.

'A textbook Le Mans start in the burning embers of a perfect Caribbean sunset was how we started our race to New York,' says Singapore skipper Ben Bowley in his 0600 report to the Race Office.

The Race Committee appointed Richard Hewson from Gold Coast Australia as lead skipper for the Le Mans start around 60 miles off shore. For this type of start, all ten yachts line up on a bearing, sailing a specific course. After the start, yachts must maintain their course for ten minutes before changing their sail plan.

The fleet remains packed together with only few miles separating them. While Welcome to Yorkshire managed to hoist and fully power up the Yankee 1 and staysail in 1 minute 37 seconds, Qingdao suffered from a winch jam at the wrong moment.

Both Australian entries had a tussle with Geraldton Western Australia currently ahead of Gold Coast Australia. The top three are currently Dutch entry De Lage Landen, Northern Irish Derry-Londonderry with Geraldton Western Australia in third place.

Despite nearly 35,000 miles raced at sea, the fleet is ready for another challenge ahead. Derry-Londonderry skipper Mark Light explains, 'It is now great to finally be out on the ocean and racing again, feeling the freedom that only sailing can offer. We are now heading at pace, towards a fantastic race finish some 2,000 miles away in New York City.'

Latest boat positions (0900 UTC)
Position Team - DTF / DTL
1 De Lage Landen - 1731NM / 0NM
2 Derry-Londonderry - 1731NM / 0NM
3 Geraldton Western Australia - 1731NM / 0NM
4 Gold Coast Australia - 1732NM / 1NM
5 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital - 1732NM / 1NM
6 Visit Finland - 1732NM / 1NM
7 Qingdao - 1732NM / 1NM
8 Singapore - 1732NM / 2NM
9 New York - 1734NM / 3NM
10 Welcome to Yorkshire - 1734NM / 3NM

Full positions are updated every three hours and can be found online." target="_blank">Clipper Round the World Yacht Race website
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