There were no Boxing Day turkey hangovers for any of the twelve Clipper Race teams yesterday as they got off to a flying start in one of the most highly anticipated Clipper Race stages in the entire history of the event: the 69th edition of the classic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (RSHYR), which is also Race 6 of our 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Race.
After a tightly contested start in Sydney Harbour, turning south out of the Sydney Heads, Old Pulteney currently leads the Clipper 70 division, and as we go to press is in twenty seventh position overall in the entire RSHYR fleet of 94 competitors.
Jamaica Get All Right is second, (39th) with Team Garmin third, in 44th overall position, heading south through the Tasman Sea. With less than 40 miles between Old Pulteney and back marker Mission Performance, it is still very close in the 628 mile long course to Hobart. Positions are changing all the time so check the Clipper Race viewer which is being updated every 10 minutes!
Sean McCarter, skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire described the experience in Sydney harbour: “I had been warned about the congestion on the start line, but wasn't too worried as I've competed in much larger starts in other regattas. I was wrong! Even though there were less boats, the fact that three start lines are piled up, one behind the other with 100 foot super-maxis charging through 30 footers, TV helicopters buzzing overhead and hundreds of support boats lining the harbour, the atmosphere was electric.”
Fleet positions have changed multiple times overnight with skippers reporting a variety of conditions. The Clipper Race yachts are competing in three separate classes, – the overall line honours division which involves every race entrant, handicap division IRC Class 1 and the Clipper Race’s own Clipper 70 division, providing armchair viewers with much to keep up to date with.
The skippers are also keeping a close eye on one of two Clipper 68s competing in IRC Class 2 – in particular CV10 with Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston aboard, as Navigator, who is certainly pushing hard and was leading the Clipper presence in the RSHYR.
Clipper Race Director, Justin Taylor has been following the action closely and commented: “The progress of the Clipper Race fleet continues to be very exciting indeed. I have spent the night following them on the tracker website and although I knew that our boats would not fare well in the line honours pursuit especially when pitted against 100 foot weapons such as Wild Oats, I am very pleased to see two Clipper 70’s leading IRC Division 1 and Old Pulteney a good third in IRC overall.
“It is very exciting, not just for the Clipper Race itself but for the skipper and crews also, and like everyone following around the world, myself and our team in Sydney will be keeping a very close eye on the rest of the race action.”
To read all the skipper reports, CLICK HERE
To follow the Clipper Race 6 tracker, CLICK HERE
To follow the Clipper Race yachts in the overall Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race standings, CLICK HERE.