Clipper Race Committee takes action in view of potential hazards


DAY 19 

  • Gold Coast Australia’s
    northerly route takes a punishing turn

  • Derry-Londonderry continues
    to head the leader board

Derry-Londonderry continue
to make steady progress towards Singapore on their southerly route as they
maintain their lead over the rest of the round the world fleet on Race 7 from
Gold Coast, Australia, to Singapore. In a cruel twist of fate, the yacht
sponsored by the Gold Coast slipped back to 5th position after their surge
of success on the northerly route they had chosen.

Race 7 presented the Clipper Race Committee
with a difficult choice of route – there were many to choose from but each
offered a number of significant hazards.

Race Director Joff Bailey explains: “After
significant research and discussion with regional Navy forces, including the
Royal Navy and the Pirate Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur, the route we
selected was north of Papua New Guinea and through the
Celebes and Sulu Seas. We considered this to be the least risky of all the
options, despite the cyclones we saw two weeks ago.

“The week ahead is going to be an interesting
period of time as once the fleet enters the Celebes Sea in a few days’ time the
crews will have to cope with very light winds, navigational hazards that are
poorly charted and also the potential threat of piracy. As such the Race
Committee will be taking certain risk-mitigating actions to ensure that the
fleet have the best chance to navigate these hazards safely.

“These might include temporarily suspending
racing, Stealth Mode for certain periods, freezing the Race Viewer and
permitting the skippers to use their engines if required. Don’t be alarmed if
some or all of the teams go into Stealth Mode for three or four days; the Race
Office is still in regular contact with the fleet as well as tracking each boat
every hour.”

YW’s Jonathon Medway joins the Clipper fleet for Race 9 onboard Qingdao. Keep checking the homepage for his blogs on the adventure.

Positions as of 1200 UTC, Wednesday 11 January)

1 Derry-Londonderry                 1867nm*
2 New York                       1905nm (+38nm**)
3 Geraldton Western Australia   1922nm (+55nm)
4 Qingdao                                   1930nm (+63nm)
5 Gold Coast Australia                1949nm (+82nm)
6 Singapore                                 1963nm (+96nm)
7 Visit Finland            1968nm (+101nm)
8 Welcome to Yorkshire              1982nm (+115nm)
9 De LageLanden                       2034nm (+167nm)
10 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital     2154nm (+287nm)

*DTF = Distance to Finish, **DTL = Distance to Leader

Full positions are updated every three hours and can be found at