Looking ahead to Race 3: TIMEZERO South Atlantic Showdown
21 October 2023
Following an incredible stopover in Punta del Este, filled with true Uruguayan hospitality, celebration and a jam-packed programme of activities, all focus is now on the third race of the circumnavigation. Race 3: TIMEZERO South Atlantic Showdown, will see the eleven-strong matched fleet race from Punta del Este to Cape Town in South Africa, in what is set to be an exhilarating leg filled with all the challenging conditions that the South Atlantic Ocean can serve up.
This leg is no easy feat and certainly one for the thrill seekers. This leg can throw anything from raging South Atlantic storms to long surfing runs under spinnaker, posing plenty of challenges for the crew.
Image: Race 3 on the 2019-20 edition
Clipper Race Director, Mark Light says: “Upon leaving South America at the start of Leg 2, teams can expect a downwind start across the line with moderate northeast breeze. After 24 hours of racing, the fleet will face some heavier upwind conditions as the winds shift to easterly and increase, and this will be the case for two to three days. The forward-looking picture is quite complicated with a low-pressure system sitting further north than usual and giving the fleet quite a challenge as to how to progress.”
“This will be a tactically challenging leg as the normal, strong downwind conditions do not look like they will materialise, certainly in the first part of this race. Big tactical decisions await, as the teams desperately search for the favoured downwind conditions to be able to fly their powerful asymmetric spinnakers. However, with this thrill comes the responsibility to ensure that it is not overpowered, as a blown spinnaker can cost valuable time and race standings.
Image: Crew can face cold and challenging conditions on this leg
“Teams should aim to approach Cape Town from the south, as although this might be the longer route, it may well offer more consistent wind. Heading east to approach the finish shaves off hundreds of miles, however it runs the risk of being left windless in the St Helena High.
“The mighty Table Mountain will be visible for quite some distance on approach to South Africa, but the race will not be over yet, as the wind shadow caused by the mountain provides a final hurdle in an exhilarating race.”
Mark concludes: “It really is everything to play for in this race, and previous editions have seen podium places decided by just 15 minutes.”
Upon arrival in Cape Town, crew can expect a true South African welcome and a stunning arrival as they sail past Table Mountain into port. Once docked alongside, the Cape Town stopover will provide the crew with the opportunity to relax in the sunshine on stunning beaches, check out the wildlife and eat as much braii as possible to fuel for the next race. Be sure to follow the fleet on the Race Viewer, once the race gets underway from 18:00 UTC on Sunday 22 October.Join The Race