Race 6 Update

21 January 2020

21 January 1030 UTC

Due to lack of wind, the fleet has continued to motor-sail before they start Race 6: The Sanya Tropical Paradise Race, with a Le Mans Race Start.

This is planned to take place at 2100 UTC today/ 0700 LT 22 January.

19 January

The Clipper Race fleet will depart Coral Sea Marina Resort at 1200 LT on Monday 20 January. All teams will then motor-sail through the stunning Whitsundays and out through the Hydrographers Passage directly to the Le Mans start area, just outside the Great Barrier Reef. The Le Mans start for Race 6 The Sanya Tropical Paradise Race will be at 1600 LT (0600 UTC) on Tuesday 21 January 2020.

Each yacht will have a fully functioning watermaker and given the tropical conditions on the next race, they will all carry exactly the same amount of freshwater across the fleet as a back-up supply.

As a result of the 48 hour delay in the Whitsundays, the crew enjoyed an afternoon of fantastic sailing conditions in Pioneer Bay, training and honing their skills and were able to relax with an additional rest day.

All crew will report to their respective yachts at 1030LT tomorrow morning and prepare for departure. The fleet will commence slipping lines at 1200LT.

See timings below :-

20 January 2020

  • 1030 All Leg 5 Race Crew on Yachts
  • 1100 Skippers Dockside Briefing
  • 1200 First Yacht Slips Lines at Coral Sea Marina Resort
  • 1245 Fleet Depart and Motor to Le Mans Start Area (153 nm)

21 January 2020

  • 1500 Fleet RV in vicinity of 19°47.000S, 150°23.000E
  • 1600 Le Mans Start for Race 6

At present, with current forecasts, the arrival window into Sanya remains unchanged.

18 January

The Race 6 departure ceremony will be going ahead from the Coral Sea Marina Resort today as planned. However, three yachts have issues with their watermaker motors and a third party courier company has failed in its obligation to deliver replacement parts in time for the planned departure today.

Says Sir Robin Knox-Johnston: "Most ocean sailors know how to ration their water supply, we used to have to before the invention of watermakers. I averaged a litre a day for 312 days, but quite understand that these days people expect more. But how much more? It is easy to overload the boats. We have used water containers before when a watermaker failed, Mark Light was the Skipper of that boat and knows from this experience what is really necessary. So we need to look at what is necessary for sensible usage on the next race to Sanya and not excessive.

"In the meantime we have all been chasing up TNT. What has happened is that a package of four new motors was dispatched from France and got to Singapore on time. There, TNT missed the connection. They also missed the following connection which is why we do not have the motors right now. At this moment the motors are in Brisbane and so we are sourcing alternatives to reduce the delay."

The yachts will be slipping lines from 1200LT with the Parade of Sail commencing at 1300LT. The fleet will then complete MOB drills in the harbour and following this each team will complete its refresher training sail. The fleet will be returning to Airlie Beach by 1730LT and remain in the marinafor up to 48 hours, until the situation is resolved.

The Clipper Race Office is making every effort to see the fleet depart from Airlie Beach, for its Race 6 Le Mans Start, as swiftly as possible.

At present, with current forecasts, the arrival window into Sanya remains unchanged.

Further details will be posted on the website when more information is available.