With the taste of Caipiriñas still fresh on their lips, the Clipper fleet has set sail from Salvador, Brazil, bound for a tall, cool Manhattan
After a hugely enjoyable seven-day stopover with the ever-hospitable Brazilians of Bahia, the time came for the 120 sailors and eight boats of the Clipper fleet to leave the Centro Nautico, many pledging to return soon.
The race start was at 1200 on Sunday 29 July. The yachts left the pontoon in good time and good conditions. The starting line was the end of the breakwater and the Race Committee boat with the famous Elevator (mentioned in Jessica’s first report) making an ideal transit.
Just inside the breakwater was the distinctive round fort, now referred to as the Camembert after Dominique gave instructions to other yachtsmen to ‘turn droit at le Camembert with the garnish’ (It has two conspicuous palm tress on it).
As the fireworks exploded to mark the start London charged across the line five seconds later and was on full throttle. Bristol was second best with Liverpool and Portsmouth close behind. Jersey went down the line on starboard tack to send others about but the tactic did not work and she lost ground.
Leeds and Glasgow were quick to cover each other and it is clear that the competition between these two will be needle over the next three weeks. As the boats turned round the mark off the Bahia Yacht Club the lead was swapping between Bristol and Plymouth and it looked a healthy West Country scrap.
Soon they all made one final tack and then bore away to sail along the beach on their way north. It could be two weeks or more before they change tack.