Please select your home edition
Edition
Lennon Thermalite 728x90 1
JOIN THE RACE JOIN THE RACE MAGAZINE DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL SOUVENIR RACE MAGAZINE Check out the latest photo galleries from The Clipper Race
UNICEF ABOUT UNICEF

Clipper Race embarks on Southern Ocean Leg

by Grace Kitching 17 Nov 2019 12:40 PST 17 November 2019
The Zhuhai and Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam team yachts battle it out on Table Bay, Cape Town - Clipper 2019-20 Race © Clipper Race

The highly-anticipated 4,750 nautical mile Southern Ocean stage of Clipper 2019-20 Race started in Cape Town today as the only global sailing race for non-professionals passes its quarter-way mark.

Race 4: The Marlow Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride got under way on Sunday 17 November from the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, bound for Fremantle Sailing Club, Western Australia. The eleven strong fleet of identical 70-ft racing yachts lined up for a 1300UTC kick-off and battled for prime position in the unpredictable winds of Table Bay.

Amongst the Clipper 2019-20 Race Skippers are Capetonian Skippers Nick Leggatt, who is leading the Zhuhai team and David Immelman, leading the GoToBermuda team. Ahead of departure Nick said: "The crew is going to find it tough but I'm very confident that I've got a tough bunch. We are going to see a lot of high-speed downwind sailing - it is going to be cold and wet but it should be quite exhilarating!"

Some 218 everyday people, representing 25 nations including a safari leader, student, teacher and roofer, are taking on one of the toughest ocean crossings on the planet. Watching the send-off was Clipper Race Co-Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who said: "I'm sure there is a mix of healthy respect, apprehension and excitement as the Southern Ocean is a very special place. Where else do you get waves of that size and where else can you surf these boats other than there? My main piece of advice to Race Crew is to stay safe and enjoy it."

As the fleet jostled for favourable positions on the start line, it was Unicef that came out on top first pipping both WTC Logistics and Zhuhai to the post. It was then a tactical race down towards fixed racing mark Manex RCYC with Qingdao first round the mark. The fleet then streamed along the coast to mark Milnerton RCYC, making a final turn, keeping the starting buoy to port. As the fleet headed out into open water, Qingdao, led by Chris Brooks was leading the pack with Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam and Imagine your Korea chasing.

Visit Sanya, China and Punta del Este were involved in a collision as they headed towards the first mark.

All crew are safe and well and both yachts have returned to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Vessel damage will be assessed and current estimates for the repair plan are ten to fourteen days.

As the Cape of Good Hope falls astern, the teams still racing will head towards the 40th parallel. This is where the Roaring Forties start, and the Southern Ocean provides some of the most extreme and exhilarating sailing in the world. Infamous for its grueling conditions, the 4,650 nautical mile race is expected to take around 25 days to complete and will see the crew take on all that Mother Nature can throw at them.

This race is not to be underestimated. Race Director Mark Light said: "You will expect to see big, big conditions, lots of downwind sailing and spinnaker work and perfect surfing conditions. Initially it is looking like the fleet will get a couple of days of upwind as they leave Cape Town and bypass the Agulhas bank.

"This is heavy weather sailing for sure but the boats, equipment and crew are all prepared for it and up to the challenge."

It's going to be an upwind beat for the first few days before south westerlies kick in, spinnakers can be hoisted and for the sleigh ride to begin. Tactically, two depressions are developing which the fleet will have to negotiate. In this race, successful teams will stay on the right side of the depressions, staying in the downwind, in the westerly belts. If the teams try to go too far north they may run out of wind, but then there is also a danger of going too far south where a 45 degrees ice limit, set by the Race Office, is in place.

The fleet expected to arrive into Fremantle Sailing Club between 9 and 14 December 2019.

For more information, go to www.clipperroundtheworld.com.

Related Articles

Clipper Race first mate takes on Mini Transat
Clipper Race is renowned for training people with no previous sailing experience Whilst the Clipper Race is renowned for training people with no previous sailing experience to become ocean racers, the event also provides challenges and new skills to more experienced sailors; including its professional Race Skippers and First Mates. Posted on 26 Sep
Life changing adventure restores confidence
The Our Isles and Oceans project launched in June and is training young people to sail An organisation providing funded sailing training programmes off the West Coast of Scotland has been described as a 'life changing experience' by participants. Posted on 20 Sep
New project to help recover from pandemic effects
The Our Isles and Oceans initiative is working with the Clipper Race to offer sail training. A new scheme for young people affected by the pandemic begins in Oban, Scotland today and the first participants include a cabaret singer, intensive care doctor and a student. Posted on 30 Jul
Clipper Round the World launches new initiative
Providing funded sailing programmes for young people affected by lockdown The Clipper Race has partnered with a new campaign, Our Isles and Oceans, which will create funded programmes for young people affected by the pandemic and lockdown. Posted on 11 Jun
Reach for the Sky
A Clipper 70 shrinks to toy-boat size from 25 metres up One of the tasks on board that may polarise Clipper Race Crew, is the need to ascend the lofty heights of the mast. Some thrill seekers on board will jump at the opportunity and others could not be dragged up there by wild horses. Posted on 31 May
Meet the Clipper Race crew: Carola Göhlich
A Clipper Race poster on the London Underground was her inspiration A Clipper Race poster on the London Underground was the inspiration for Carola Göhlich, who hails from Switzerland, to sign up for Leg 1: The Atlantic Trade Winds Leg. Posted on 8 May
Clipper 2019-20 Race to restart in February 2022
Postponed race will eventually restart from Subic Bay We have made the difficult decision to postpone the restart of the Clipper 2019-20 Race. Posted on 28 Apr
Clipper Race: When the fog rolls in
Sailing offshore can be challenging yet beautiful For those lucky enough to know, sailing offshore can be challenging yet beautiful. The freedom that sailing affords takes you to different places, both geographically and mentally. Posted on 14 Mar
Meet the Clipper Race crew - Denis Nikolaytsev
Denis signed up to cross the Atlantic Ocean during the Clipper 2019-20 Race Despite having no previous sailing experience, Denis Nikolaytsev, 35, signed up to cross the Atlantic Ocean during the Clipper 2019-20 Race. Posted on 7 Mar
Four hours should be plenty of time to cook...
Crew Perspective from the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race On Visit Sanya, we run a 3 watch system. The various support watches have a set task and for Leg 5 that task is done for the whole of the leg as there is a 2hr time change between Airlie Beach & Subic Bay so there is no opportunity to shift meal times. Posted on 13 Feb
Sea Sure 2020 - SHOCK-WBV - FOOTERRooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTERArmstrong-Suptonic-728x90-2 BOTTOM