The Clipper 2023-24 Race will be visiting three Australian ports during its global race route, with the addition of newcomer Newcastle, New South Wales: a vibrant city on the East Coast making a debut on the Clipper Race circuit.

Image: Famous for sun, surf and a vibrant food and drink scene, Newcastle, NSW will host the Clipper Race fleet on Leg 4- a brand new stopover destination on the race route

Leg 4: The Australian Coast-to-Coast Leg will see the fleet racing between a trio of beautiful Australian Host Ports: starting in Fremantle, Western Australia, to Newcastle, New South Wales and then to Airlie Beach, Whitsundays.

This edition marks the fifth time Fremantle has made an appearance on the race route and it will be the fourth time the Clipper Race fleet visits the tropical paradise of Airlie Beach- the gateway to the stunning Whitsundays.

A welcome sight at the end of an epic race through the Roaring Forties from Cape Town, and marking the close of Leg 3, Crew will be delighted to see the sun-kissed Fremantle Sailing Club Marina greeting them as they arrive there in mid-November.

Image: Clipper Race Crew face huge conditions on Leg 3- racing from Cape Town to Fremantle, WA.

Leg 4 kicks off from here, where teams will head around the south of Australia, facing the tough conditions of the Bass Strait, to the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club. As a brand-new destination on the race route, Newcastle promises to be a vibrant stopover, with crew having the opportunity to soak up the sun on one of the many beautiful beaches. With the fleet arriving from 1 January 2024, the stopover will also offer the opportunity to celebrate the New Year.

Its then onwards and upwards towards the tropics of Airlie Beach, where the intrepid crew can enjoy the turquoise waters and golden beaches of the Coral Sea Marina Resort as they sail into port in mid-January 2024 and finish this challenging and varied leg.

Mark Light, Race Director at Clipper Ventures, said “We are really happy that our Clipper Race fleet will be visiting three separate locations in Australia on Leg 4 of the Clipper 2023-24 Race edition.

“The port of Fremantle in Western Australia is no stranger to the Clipper Race, and we are delighted to be heading back there after a long and arduous crossing of the South Indian Ocean from Cape Town, South Africa.

“After recharging in Fremantle, the fleet will sail round one of the great capes of the world, Cape Leeuwin, and experience the Roaring Forties as they blast across the Southern Ocean leaving the great Australian continent to the North. Strong depressions will give tremendous winds and big seas which in turn will create some fantastic downwind surfing conditions for the Clipper 70 Race yachts and their crews. Once around Tasmania, the fleet will head north and do battle with the notorious Bass Strait, forever wary of the weather phenomenon known as the ‘Southerly Buster’ which is prevalent in these parts, as they head towards the port of Newcastle, NSW for the very first time in Clipper Race history.

“Following the first stopover of 2024, courtesy of the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, the crews will embark on the second race of Leg 4 where they will head further north and up the Australian East coast to the warmer airs, azure blue waters and be able to take in the beauty of The Whitsundays and Airlie Beach. This will be the fourth time that the Clipper Race has visited The Whitsundays and our crews will have an incredible time in such a stunning location.”

Image: The Clipper Race fleet in Airlie Beach, Whitsundays

29 Australian crew members aged between 22 and 69 will be joining the adventure of a lifetime. Eight members will get to experience the joy of sailing into their home nation at the conclusion of Leg 3, eight will complete the full Leg 4, visiting all three of the Australian destinations, and a further six will depart Airlie Beach at the start of Leg 5.

Leg 4: The Australian Coast-to-Coast Leg will take place between 19 December 2023 and 22 January 2024.