Clipper Race: Who will win Race 6?

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(February 13, 2020; Day 25) – The Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race competition in Race 6 couldn’t be closer as the four leading teams continue to shuffle their positions.

With just six nautical miles separating WTC Logistics, Qingdao, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, and Visit Sanya, China, it’s all on in their approach to the finish in Subic Bay, Philippines.

“So we’ve lost our lead and Luzon seems like a distant memory,” reports Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam Skipper Josh Stickland. “We find ourselves surrounded by rival boats, behind, in front and even to the side. This has had a dramatic effect on the crews work rate and efficiency – now when we’re completing sail changes the deck is abundant with ‘boat voices’ (think loud) and orders are echoed as they are repeated.”

When Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam encountered it’s close rival Qingdao during the night, Chris Brooks of Qingdao explains how the teams greeted each other in style: “As Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam came closer and closer the excitement rose and so did the volume as two boats came together in the ocean without another vessel in sight.

“It was pitch black and as we drifted for sometime close within 100m of each other the two crews were merry, singing each other songs, playing music and shining disco lights at the main sail as they all took 20 minutes or so for a little relief.”

Progress has been slow along the west coast of the Philippines which has delayed the predicted finish by two days. For WTC Logistics Skipper Rich Gould, he says enough is enough: “Hopefully the next time you hear from me will be on Facebook Live when we hit the dock in Subic Bay Yacht Club.”

The conclusion to Race 6 looks set to be decided in the next 24 hours. For finish ETAs, click here.

Race details – Team list – Race route – Tracker – Facebook

Delayed: Originally scheduled to begin on January 18, Leg 5/Race 6 – a 4280 nautical mile race from the Whitsundays, Australia to Sanya, China – was postponed twice, initially due to watermaker issues on three boats and then because of light winds. The 11 teams finally got underway January 22.

Course change: The fifth leg was to be divided into three races (6, 7, 8), with the first race to finish in Sanya, China. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, a course change was enacted and the fleet will skip Sanya and now finish where the second race was to conclude in Subic Bay, Philippines.

Motoring: In case of light winds and slow progress within the defined Doldrums Corridor, teams on Race 6 had the option to use their motor for prescribed amount of time and distance. Details.

About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race:
The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors.

Held biennially, the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race gets underway September 1 for the fleet of eleven identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. This 12th edition has attracted 688 crew representing 43 nationalities for the 41,000+ nm course. The race finishes on August 8.

The course is divided into 8 legs and 15 individual races, with some of the crew in for the entire circumnavigation while others will do individual legs. The team having the best cumulative score over the entire course will win the Clipper Race Trophy.

The Clipper 2019-20 Race Route:
The fleet departs from London, UK to Portimão, Portugal; across the Atlantic to Punta del Este, Uruguay; the South Atlantic to Cape Town, South Africa; across the Southern Ocean’s Roaring Forties to Fremantle, Western Australia; around to the Whitsundays on the east coast of Australia, back into the Northern Hemisphere to China where teams will race to Qingdao, via Sanya and Zhuhai; across the mighty North Pacific to Seattle, USA; to New York via the famous Panama Canal; to Bermuda and then it’s a final Atlantic crossing to Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland; before arriving back to London as fully proven ocean racers.

Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, sailingscuttlebutt

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