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Clipper Race crew surf giant waves off the coast of Portugal

by Kathryn Pridie 7 Sep 23:00 PDT
Race 1 Day 5: Crew surf giant waves of the coast of Portugal - Clipper Round the World Yacht Race © Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

A crew of everyday people from all walks of life surf down giant waves off the coast of Portugal as they compete in the first stage of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

"The surfing at constant 25 knots for some time was some of the best sailing I've done, ever..." - Chris Books, Skipper of Qingdao

The eleven Clipper Race teams enjoyed a real thrill-ride during the fifth day of racing as they zoomed through the start of the Ocean Sprint. Wind speeds of over 40knots with a swell of over four meters made for some of the most exhilarating downwind conditions that the professional skippers, and their non-professional crews, have faced.

The race set sail from St Katharine Docks, London, last week and is due to call into Portimão, Portugal, from Sunday 8 September. From there, teams will face the first ocean crossing as they head for Punta del Este, Uruguay. The 11 month event is unique in that it trains ordinary people to race across oceans. 40 percent of the crew had never sailed before signing up for the four week intensive and rigorous training programme.

This year, the crew which range from 18-76 years old, have professions such as hairdresser, roofer, chiropractor, farmer, safari leader and teacher. The Clipper 2019-20 Race Crew will be the most global ever, made up of 43 nationalities with first time participation of crew from Tanzania, Nigeria, Morocco, Martinique, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and Egypt.

Track the fleet at clipperroundtheworld.com/race/standings

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