Fleet prepares for Southern Ocean sleigh ride

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The next stage of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will see the twelve-strong fleet take on the Southern Ocean in Race 4, Cape Town, South Africa to Albany, Western Australia.

“As we look at Race 4 we can expect some even better average speeds for the fleet,” predicts Clipper Race founder and chairman, Sir Robin. 

“This time the boats are really going into the Roaring Forties of the Southern Ocean with its infamous deep low pressure systems and the very strong winds that build up huge waves.     

“There will be some big surfs, providing really exciting sailing when a boat gets on the front of one of these waves and uses it to power along. 

“None of the boats have yet exceeded 300 miles in a day, but they are getting close. I would put money on more than one giving us a day’s run over 300 miles on the next leg,” continues Sir Robin.

“Having had a proper opportunity to discover how the new Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s perform in strong off wind conditions, it is fair to say that we are delighted and excited.

“The average speed of the fleet between Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town this race is nearly two knots faster than the best performance of the Clipper 68s.  There are some great stories from crews here in Cape Town of big surfs, but more importantly high averages on occasion.  Thirty miles in two hours is no mean performance.

Race 4 from Cape Town to Albany, Western Australia starts on Monday 4 November at 1430 local time (1230 UTC). The fleet is expected to arrive in Albany from 24 November.