Clipper crews head back to Subic Bay this weekend to join their yachts for Leg 4 re-start 13/3/06

Crews who were forced to abandon the Clipper round the World Yacht Race five weeks ago when keel problems were discovered on the 10-strong Clipper 68 fleet, will set sail again in two weeks.

The yachts which have been based in Subic Bay in the Philippines while repair work to the damaged keels has taken place, are now approaching their final stages of repair before they area surveyed ready for the 25 March re-start.

The fleet will re-start the race from Subic Bay and head to Qingdao in China to complete Leg 4. From here, starting on 8 April, the fleet will sail straight from Quingdao to Victoria in Canada instead of stopping in Yokohama, Japan. Curacao, the stop over in the Caribbean, has also been replaced by a stop in Jamaica.

According to the organisers the changes were necessary in order to streamline the race programme to stay as close as possible to the original timetable. Japan is not a host port or a crew changeover location, and retaining it in the race programme would have added a significant amount of time to the schedule, even if the stopover was reduced to a one or two day pit stop. The Curacao switch to Jamaica is to allow a more speedy passage through the Caribbean. The route to Curacao would have involved sailing a ‘dog leg’, which would have left the fleet in the Caribbean for longer. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston – Clipper Ventures Chairman commented: “The safety of crews was paramount in planning, and it was important to route the fleet through the Caribbean as soon as possible to avoid the peak of the hurricane season. Ultimately, Clipper Ventures wanted to ensure that the crew taking part would still be able to achieve their ambition of sailing around the world on their selected legs, albeit it in a slightly different timeframe to that originally planned.”

Race programme -revised

Leg 4 Subic Bay starts 25 March

Leg 5 Qingdao – fleet arrives 2 April – fleet leaves 8 April

Leg 6 Victoria – fleet arrives 6 May – fleet leaves 14 May

Leg 6 Panama Canal – fleet arrives 4 June – fleet leaves 10 June

Leg 7 Port Antonio, Jamaica – fleet arrives 14 June – fleet leaves 20 June

Leg 7 New York – fleet arrives 27 June – fleet leaves 4 July

Leg 7 Jersey – fleet arrives 21 July – fleet leaves 25 July

Finish TBC