Clipper RTW: Across the Mighty Pacific [updated]

posted in: Sailing | 2
Race 10 Start - Qingdao, China to San Francisco, USA
Race 10 Start – Qingdao, China to San Francisco, USA

Race 10 (Leg 6) of the Clipper 2013-2104 Round the world Yacht Race began last night (0530 UTC). The first key milestone will be the southern tip of Japan where “skippers will face the age old-dilemma: take the shortest route and risk light airs or head north for a colder but stronger ride east” [1]. The twelve teams will leave Qingdao, China and sail across the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco, U.S.A. The fleet is expected to arrive between April 8 – 12.

An exciting race to follow! Over 5800 NM, and crossing the International Date Line. I’m curious to see how the skippers will choose their routes across the Pacific.

Update: because of heavy fog this morning the fleet ceased racing. They are now motor-sailing and will resume the race when the fog lifts [2].

[1] Countdown to Race 10
[2] Fog Halts Racing

Hong Kong Observatory Marine Forecast
Pacific Analysis from the Ocean Prediction Center (NOAA/NWS)
High Seas Forecast for the Central North Pacific (NOAA/NWS)
PassageWeather Sailing Forecasts, North Pacific Region

2 Responses

  1. Cathy

    Clipper RTW website says they will restart with a LeMans start. I know how that works in auto racing, but how on earth do they do that in yacht racing?

  2. Lorna

    Good question. In a Le Mans start the yachts line up with their mainsails hoisted and their headsails ready to go. On each of the yachts the crew wait aft of the coffee grinder (the large, two handled winch crank) for the start signal. When the signal is given the crew moves quickly forward to hoist the headsails and trim them as fast as possible, and off they sail!

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