After an amazing stopover in Cape Town, South Africa, the Clipper Race crew are now preparing to leave on Tuesday 31 October for Race 3, to Fremantle, Australia, which will be officially known as the Dell Latitude Rugged Race.

Starting at latitude 40°S, the Southern Ocean leg of the Clipper Race pits the crews against the Roaring Forties - 35 knot winds and swells taller than buildings between 40 and 50 degrees of latitude - with massive spinnakers harnessing the downwind direction of the Clipper 70s. Just as each boat and crew will find out what they're made of, so too will the Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme laptops on board; each are tested to withstand the brutal conditions experienced during this leg of the race, and each will experience Mother Nature in her most raw and powerful glory.

"As we continue to watch the brave crews and skippers of the Clipper Race, reasons for choosing Dell Latitude Rugged surface as they face gruelling race conditions and environments unfriendly to normal PCs," says Shannon Mackay, vice president Dell Rugged, Client Product Group.

"We wish the crews and skippers the best of luck during this challenging leg of the Clipper Race, and we are proud that Dell Latitude Rugged mobility devices will be with them the whole way."

IMAGE: Clipper Race Dell Rugged Crew Ambassador Samantha Harper on Dare To Lead.

The big news to come out of the Race 3 Crew Brief in Cape Town was that Greenings and Qingdao have both decided to play Joker Cards. Qingdao Skipper Chris Kobusch explains: "This was always the race that I was looking forward to the most. Big swells, surfing, downwind sailing, I think it’s the most fun and we have found in the last few races that the team is much better going downwind than upwind. So we thought it was a good leg for us to play the Joker Card."

Teams will slip their lines from 1200 local time (1000 UTC), in preparation for a Parade of Sail in Table Bay at 1245 (1045 UTC), which will be a line astern formation in the vicinity between the No 8 Isolated Danger Mark and Mouille Point lighthouse at Green Point.

Onshore spectators will have an excellent view of the Parade of Sail from the Breakwater Boardwalk although access to the Breakwater itself is restricted. For a raised viewing area, spectators can head to an area just outside the Lookout Waterfront.

IMAGE: Parade of Sail route

The official Race Start time is scheduled for 1400 (1200 UTC) and after crossing the start line, the Clipper Race fleet will sail clear of the stunning, but fickle-winded Table Bay. The teams will then head on to the first Great Cape – The Cape of Good Hope, and on to the Agulhas Bank, an area notorious for very disturbed seas where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.

IMAGE: Blue zone marks Race Start zone. Please note that the exact Start Line is subject to change depending on weather conditions.

Also referred to as the Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride, this leg offers some of the most exhilarating and testing conditions of the entire circumnavigation as teams dip into the notoriously strong winds of the Roaring Forties, which lays between 40 and 50 degrees Latitude.Spinnakers are likely to re-appear and ocean racing tactics will be in full flow. Teams will discover exactly what the Clipper 70s are made of as they surf downwind at more than 25 knots on some swells higher than buildings.

Despite the gruelling reputation that the Roaring Forties command, this is a place respected by sailors as one of the best places to fully appreciate Mother Nature in her most raw and powerful glory. Armchair sailors, meanwhile, will be able to follow all of the latest positions of the teams on the RaceViewer.
Once again, both a Scoring Gate and Ocean Sprint will feature during the race, giving the fleet an opportunity to gain some extra race points, and a 24 hour period of Stealth Mode option will also be available to teams.

After one of the most testing legs of the circumnavigation, Fremantle will be a welcome sight for the fleet, which is returning to the city after first visiting in 2005 and again during the 2007-08 edition.

Located at the mouth of the Swan River, approximately 25 minutes from Perth, Fremantle is bounded by stunning beaches and limestone cliffs, and is a major port for Western Australia, for both world-class competition and commercial activity.

Wishing you could be out on the start line at Cape Town for Race 3 to Fremantle, Australia? Well now you can, virtually, from the comfort of your own armchair; in fact, wherever you are with an internet link, via laptop, tablet or mobile.

The Clipper Race has teamed up once again with the world’s leading and most experienced team of digital yacht racing game experts at Virtual Regatta and after a competitive Race 2, the virtual ocean racing platform is once again ready for the start of Race 3 from 31 October for the Southern Ocean Leg. Full details of all the features and how to play are available in the game website.

Watch out on the Clipper Race: LIVE Facebook page to see the teams off the dock for the race re-start on Tuesday 31 October from midday local time (1000 UTC).

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