​Race 2: Two Jokers Played in Commodore’s Cup

14 September 2019

Clipper Race crew have enjoyed a magical week in the Portuguese sun but now it’s time to get back on the water and race!

Race 2, has been named the ‘The Commodore's Cup’ by the Yacht Club Punta del Este. A cup will be presented to the winning team on arrival and the Commodore Juan Etcheverrito said: “We’ve chosen this name to honour those whose passion for the sea inspired them to promote and encourage sailing and seamanship.”

The excitement began before race start with the top two teams, Punta del Este and Qingdao, declaring that they will play their Joker Card. The Joker Card means that any race points earned will be doubled, meaning a potential 22 points are on offer if Punta del Este or Qingdao win the race.

The race from Portimão to Punta del Este in Uruguay will see the fleet cross some 5,195 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean. There will be tactical decisions to be made in the first few days. Teams will need to decide whether to sail to the east, west, or straight through the Canary Islands. Pick the wrong route and teams will get stuck in the lee of the land, watching the rest of the fleet accelerate towards the Cape Verde Islands.

The Scoring Gate lies just north of the Cape Verde Islands and teams will need to weigh up whether to deviate from the rhumb line and go hunting for the three, two and one bonus points on offer to the first three boats to cross the gate.

The Doldrums will be both a highlight and a challenge of this race. Crew will enjoy a visit from King Neptune himself as the Pollywogs on board (someone who has never before crossed the Equator), are turned into Shellbacks, also called a Son or Daughter of Neptune.

IMAGE: Crew enjoying the Equator Ceremony while motoring through the Doldrums.

However, the Doldrums will test the teams both mentally and physically with unpredictable conditions, big wind holes, squalls, and high temperatures. Teams will need to be clever when they take advantage of the Doldrums Corridor race rule, which is a tactical mechanism allowing teams to motor-sail through six degrees of latitude (or 360 miles), so long as they are within the set gate and time limit.

Once they are through the Doldrums, teams will continue south to pick up the easterly trade winds, being careful not to get too close to the South American coast. The Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint will be off the north-eastern coast of Brazil, between the lines of longitude 05°S and 10°S. The first three teams with the shortest elapsed time between the two designated positions will receive three, two and one bonus point respectively.

IMAGE: The still waters of the Doldrums.

Teams will again be able to employ Stealth Mode once during Race 2. Stealth Mode will hide them from the rest of the fleet and is usually when tactically decisions are made. While the boat in Stealth Mode will be hidden from the rest of the fleet and the public, the Clipper Race Office will be in constant contact with those on board.

The fleet is expected to arrive in Punta del Este between Saturday 12 and Wednesday 16 October, with the crew to enjoy one of the warmest welcomes of the race in this seaside Uruguayan city.

Dubbed the ‘St Tropez of South America’, Punta del Este is one of South America's most fashionable resorts, enjoying a prime location at the mouth of the River Plate and the Atlantic Ocean. To learn more about Punta del Este and the events planned in the Clipper Race Fan Zone at the Yacht Club Punta del Este, visit the Host Port page on the Clipper Race website.

To see the latest standings and follow the teams during their ocean adventure, keep an eye on the Clipper Race Viewer.

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