The 10 Clipper crews in Fremantle are preparing for the next leg of the race which starts on Sunday

With only one full day left for the skippers and crew on the ten boat Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race, all the last-minute boat checks, cleaning and maintenance is creating a real buzz in Fishing Boat Harbour, Fremantle, Western Australia.

Home team skippered by Hobart-born David Pryce are in confident mood after finishing third in the last race from Durban to open up an 8-point lead at the top of the leader board. Speaking on national radio earlier, David said: “We’re really excited about the next race and just itching to get underway now. We feel like we’ve had enough time to prepare, even though there has been a lot to do so we just want to get back out there on the water.”

This stop-over sees a small change of personnel as some of the crew choose which legs they take part in rather than completing the entire circumnavigation. David explained: “Every port brings with it some new crew which is great for giving the team fresh blood and new recipes in the galley!” However, David has also been keeping a close eye on the opposition: “Some of the strong teams so far seem to be Durban, Liverpool 08 and New York who have been incredibly consistent. You may not need to win any of the individual races to win the overall race. I certainly expect to see a lot more of Durban: they’ve got a great team together under their skipper Craig Millar.”

Excitement down at Fishing Boat Harbour and Fremantle Harbour is expected to reach fever pitch over the weekend, with crowds anticipated to be in the thousands when the boats leave for Singapore on Sunday, 1 January 2006.

Leader Board

1. 32.5pts (8pts leg 4)

2. Liverpool 08 24.5 (5)

3. Durban 23.0 (10)

4. New York 22.5 (4)

5. Cardiff 21.0 (3)

6. Qingdao 18.0 (7)

7. Uniquely Singapore 16.0 (2)

8. Victoria 15.5 (9)

9. Jersey 12.0 (6)

10. Glasgow 4.5 (1)