Second stage of Clipper Race off to flying start

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The 12 yachts competing in the world’s longest ocean race have started their 5,000 mile Atlantic Ocean crossing to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, off the French  coast today. 

Henri Lloyd under skipper Eric Holden crossed the line first ahead of GREAT Britain, followed by Derry~Londonderry~Doire, on a close-hauled start.

But it was Derry~Londonderry~Doire that was first round the windward mark followed by Henri Lloyd and PSP Logistics; GREAT Britain opted to take a penalty 720 degree turn after touching the mark.

Race director Justin Taylor said: “Three minutes before the start, the yachts were fully powered up and as the wind increased, the boats that benefitted were the ones with a reef in.” 

The new generation of Clipper 70s are doing their first big ocean crossing, sailing to 2016 Olympic host city Rio in Brazil to complete Leg 1 after a short stopover in Brest, France.

Legendary British yachtsman, Clipper Race Founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “Tactically, the Doldrums is where Race 2 is likely to be decided. The teams will have to ensure they maintain concentration and keep the boat moving.

“Between the flat calms and the squalls, the lack of wind will be frustrating at times but how they perform at this stage of the race will be worth watching as it could make a big difference to the final positions.”

After a stopover at Marina da Gloria, Rio, the fleet will then continue on via South Africa, Western Australia, Sydney (including the world famous Rolex Sydney Hobart Race), Brisbane, Singapore, China, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry Londonderry and the Netherlands before returning to London’s St Katharine Docks for Race Finish in July 2014.

The leaderboard going into Race 2 to Rio is as follows:

1. Invest Africa                                  12 points
2. Great Britain                                  11 points
3. Qingdao                                          10 points
4. Team Garmin                                  9 points
5. PSP Logistics                                    8 points
6. One DLL                                            7 points
7. Switzerland                                      6 points
8. Henri Lloyd                                      5 points (joint)
8. Derry~Londonderry~Doire           5 points (joint)
10. Jamaica                                          3 points
11. Old Pulteney                                 2 points
12. Mission Performance                  1 point