The Clipper Race is one of the toughest endurance tests on the planet for both crew and the eleven-strong fleet of Clipper 70 racing yachts, as they cover some 40,000 nautical miles and negotiate some of the most hostile conditions that mother nature can serve up throughout the circumnavigation.

Keeping the fleet well maintained is therefore critical to yacht performance, safety and team success. Ahead of the 2017-18 edition, the Clipper Race welcomed Coppercoat, the world’s only water-based VOC-free antifoul on the market, as the first official antifoul supplier. Antifouling is a process of protecting the bottom of the boats from marine growth such as slime, weed and barnacles - and therefore reduces the impact marine growth has on speed, boat handling and corrosion - by applying a protective layer to the hull.

It has truly been put to the test throughout the last two race editions, and especially during the past two years whilst the race has been on hold. In addition to the 40,000nm covered in the 2017-18 edition, the Clipper 70 fleet has so far covered a further 20,000 nautical miles of the 2019-20 edition and, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the yachts have remained stationed in hibernation mode in Subic Bay, Philippines, for the past two years.

Two years on, the Clipper Race Maintenance Team, Skippers and AQPs are now back in Subic Bay, and have spent the last month working hard on getting the yachts ready for the start of Leg 6, the North Pacific Leg from Asia to Seattle, commencing 20 March. As part of the essential race preparation, Clipper Race Maintenance Manager, Justin Haller, has been diving off the yachts in Subic Bay to inspect each of the hulls and see how the Coppercoat antifouling has fared over the past two years.

Justin reported: “I’ve been out in the marina diving to inspect the rudders, the propeller shaft and hulls of each yacht, and everything is looking good!

“There were some barnacles and seaweed on the hulls, which is unsurprising given that the yachts have spent two years in a marina. However, without Coppercoat, this would have been absolutely horrendous, so there’s no doubt that Coppercoat has worked really well on our fleet.

“The boats will come out in Seattle again for a good clean, but everything is looking really great below. I dive to inspect the boats in most ports, and compared to over the years, the hulls using Coppercoat are by far superior.”

Ewan Clark, Managing Director at Coppercoat said: “We are delighted to see that the Coppercoat treatments applied to the Clipper Round the World Race fleet over 5 years ago continue to offer excellent performance. Even after all this time, and over 60,000 nautical miles of racing, the Coppercoat remains protective and effective. As the race re-starts, we wish all the competitors the best of luck.”

Made from recycled copper and solvent-free non-eroding epoxy, Coppercoat is designed to repel marine fouling in all waters, whilst being incredibly long-lasting. This antifoul is classed as non-leaching so is kinder to the environment, and also remains effective for at least ten years, only requiring annual touch ups, rather than completely repainting the hulls with fresh antifoul regularly. By removing the need to lift the Clipper Fleet out of the water during races, this saves significant time for the Race Maintenance Teams.

With the race start just days away, the use of Coppercoat has helped significantly in the preparations helping to ensure that each team is ready to race with optimal performance.

To find out more about Coppercoat, visit coppercoat.com

If your company is interested in becoming a partner or sponsor of the Clipper Race, please email the Partnerships Team to find out more:

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