Following a scorching stopover in Fremantle, Skippers, AQPs and Clipper Race crew are making the final preparations ahead of the fourth leg of the circumnavigation.

Leg 4 kicks off with Race 5: Sta-Lok Endurance Test, a 2,500nm race around the south of Australia up to Newcastle, New South Wales, a brand-new Host Port on the Clipper Race circuit. This race, which sets sail from Fremantle on Tuesday 19 December, is set to be a real test from the Start Line, with breezy conditions predicted, making for a competitive start to the next race.

Deputy Race Director Dale Smyth reports on the conditions ahead for the teams: “It’s a really challenging but exciting race that the crew are going to have. Because of the weather conditions from the beginning of this race, it’s looking to be quite a tough start. Traditionally here there are a lot of southerlies that blow, so it’s quite a hard beat right down until the fleet gets past Cape Leeuwin, and even then, it’s still a challenge trying to break through an area of high pressure until they get far south enough to start getting some westerlies. Once the teams are down in the south, they should get some good running conditions.

“The fleet will be going to the most southerly point of the circumnavigation, as the teams round the bottom of Tasmania, and then across the infamous Tasman Sea, where they can expect the infamous ‘southerly busters.’ After this, there will be a very tactical sail up to Newcastle against the East Australia Current. It’s going to be an interesting and very, very tactical race.”

72 new crew are joining the Clipper Race for this leg, which will see the fleet sail into two iconic Aussie ports: Newcastle, NSW and Airlie Beach in Queensland. Among the crew are thirteen Australians who will be sailing around their home country.

Friends, family and locals can watch the fleet departure and official start from the Fremantle Sailing Club.

Details for Race 5 Start Day at Fremantle Sailing Club, Tuesday 19 December

1200- Clipper Race yachts depart Fremantle Sailing Club in Slipping Lines Ceremony

1300 –1330- Parade of Sail

1500- Official start of Race 5: Sta-Lok Endurance Test

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