The Velux 5 Oceans Race leg 2 restart has been postponed 4/12/06

Clipper Ventures PLC, organisers of the around the world yacht race the Velux 5 Oceans Race, today announced that the start of Leg 2 is now set for Sunday 14 January, a change from the original schedule of 7 January. The one-week postponement has been introduced by organisers as a safety precaution for the skippers, following a gruelling first leg from Bilbao to Fremantle (Western Australia).

The skippers, who race single-handed through the world’s toughest oceans, will be preparing in Fremantle for one of the most difficult and longest challenges in solo ocean racing, a 14,200 mile run from Western Australia to Norfolk, (Virginia, USA). The sailors will have to brave the extreme conditions of the isolated expanse of the Southern Ocean, round the infamous Cape Horn and then sail north through the doldrums and into the Atlantic, finally finishing at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay.

Preparation will be crucial for such a daunting challenge. In close consultation with all the skippers, the teams and all the race stakeholders, Race Director David Adams took the decision to postpone the start by seven days. The delay gives the competitors a chance for a breather and adequate time to prepare their boats to face the reality of leg 2. After the problems faced by a number of the boats in leg 1, the skippers need to ensure their yachts are in the best shape possible.

The original schedule for the race was created with a certain amount of flexibility already built in, and the change to the start of leg 2 will not affect the programme of events or the start of leg 3 in Norfolk.

Commenting on the announcements, David Adams concluded: “This was essentially a safety issue. I talked to all the teams and sponsors, and everyone agreed that the postponement would give the skippers a chance for a breather and the opportunity to set off on leg 2 with a well prepared boat. Leg 1 has seen a huge amount of drama and action; it has been one of the most gruelling legs ever. Leg 2 will be even tougher and longer, so we want to make sure that we are looking after the most important assets in this race – the skippers. The good news is that the extra week will not affect the stopover in Norfolk, which was designed to be especially long to accommodate this sort of change.”