Having completed Leg 3 from Durban the 10 Clipper Round the World teams are enjoying a relaxed Christmas on the beach in Fremantle

For many of the crew on the ten-boat Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race, this Christmas, in Fremantle, is certainly proving to be different to the usual wintry conditions back home in the United Kingdom.

Barbecues on Rottnest Island and basking in the glorious sunshine on Cottesloe Beach have been some of the highlights for the crew who have sailed over 10,000 miles to get to Western Australia in time for Christmas.

However, this stop-over has not been all about throwing shrimps on the barbecue and sampling the fine Western Australian wine. For the majority of the boats based at Fremantle Sailing Club it has been a time for maintenance and repairs, as the skippers and crew survey any damage caused after their triple ocean crossing.

Whilst the damage has on the most part been only minor, there has also been frantic sewing and stitching of sails so that the boats are back in great shape in time for the Indian Ocean crossing to Singapore.

Whilst westernaustralia.com has continued her impressive form and finished on the podium here in third place, the real story has been of Durban leading the fleet out of South Africa and maintaining her lead for virtually the entire race to Fremantle.

The atmosphere in and around Fremantle Sailing Club and Fishing Boat Harbour where the teams have been based for almost 10 days now has been one of celebration and Christmas cheer as the crew enjoy a well deserved break over the festive period. The restaurants and bars that line the marina have been packed day and night as the 170 crew members and corresponding family and friends enjoy the sights and sounds of Fremantle and this wonderful sailing community.

Brian Kelly, Qingdao, said how he was thoroughly enjoying the Aussie summer here in Western Australia: “It is a fantastic spot here in WA. Freo’ is a great little place with loads of fantastic restaurants and the beaches up at Cottesloe are just beautiful. I can certainly see myself coming back!”

As thoughts begin to turn towards the next adventure and the journey to Asia it is easy to forget that for some, the complete circumnavigation is still more 20,000 miles to go.

The next race, leg four, starts on 1 January 2006 from Fremantle, Australia heading for Singapore.

Leg Positions

1. Durban Finished: 22.54 (16/12)

2. Victoria Finished: 23.54 (16/12)

3. westernaustralia.com Finished: 04.54 (17/12)

4. Qingdao Finished: 12.14 (17/12)

5. Jersey Finished: 19.00 (17/12)

6. Liverpool 08 Finished: 20.02 (17/12)

7. New York Finished: 12.31 (18/12)

8. Cardiff Finished: 06.00 (19/12)

9. Uniquely Singapore Finished: 13.17 (19/12)

10. Glasgow Finished: 03.45 (20/12)