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Battening down the hatches as Clipper Race postpones Australian departure due to incoming cyclone

by Clipper Round the World Race 22 Jan 18:31 PST
The eleven Clipper Race yachts prepared for the incoming cyclone © Clipper Ventures

The next Leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has been postponed as a tropical cyclone makes its way towards the Queensland coast.

The fleet of eleven racing yachts has been enjoying a stopover in Airlie Beach as part of its 40,000nm circumnavigation. However, the next stage of the event (Race 7), which was due to start yesterday (Monday 22), has been put on hold as the serious storm enroute would make the conditions too dangerous for the fleet to depart.

Now Skippers, First Mates and over 200 Race Crew have spent the past 48hrs battening down the hatches on the yachts in preparation, making sure that necessary measures are in place to secure the boats safely.

Even in the safety of the marina the storm threatens to put a lot of pressure onto the boats so preparations have included doubling up lines, staggering the boats so that when they start to roll around in the wind, the masts don't bump into each other and cause damage, lashing the boom down on the deck, and making sure all the movable parts are secured or stowed well below deck.

Clipper Race Director Mark Light said: "What we do know is that there's a cyclone in the vicinity that is developing offshore from the Coral Sea Marina and it is looking likely that this will make landfall around the 24th of January. On the basis of that we have our plan in place for a four-day delay departing from Airlie Beach."

The Clipper Race Office continues to monitor the storm closely as plans for the fleet to depart on Friday (26 January) will be modified with any significant developments.

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