And just like that, after an incredible week at Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, the lines have slipped, the team songs have been sung and the Clipper Race fleet is on its way to Airlie Beach.

So, as the teams wave goodbye to land for now, it’s back to ocean racing. Officially starting Race 6 was the firing of the 80-pounder cannon located at Newcastle’s historic Fort Scratchley, setting the fleet off on its 950nm sprint towards the final of the three Australian stops - Airlie Beach.

Image: Crowds gather to wave off the Clipper Race fleet

However, the non-professional Race Crew will be leaving first-time Host Port Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club (NCYC) refreshed and ready for action, as it was a stopover that had it all – Aussie pies on arrival, an epic sunset-soaked Prizegiving, a Hawaiian party complete with local band and BBQ, outrigger canoe racing, cleaning up a local mangrove and a backdrop of white sandy beaches.

Speaking on departure, this is what the Clipper Race crew had to say about the stopover:

Image: Perseverance in Parade of Sail

Joss Creswell AQP on Perseverance: “Newcastle has been my favourite stopover so far. It’s a working coal town, and it’s really lovely because you can just tell the community and the people that live here, really live here. The canoe clubs are amazing, the city beaches are super lovely, there’s lots of surfing, we saw live music, went to gigs, we’ve enjoyed all the independent shops – it’s just been a lot of fun!”

David Hartshorn, UK, Skipper on Bekezela: “The whole enthusiasm of everyone at the yacht club has been fantastic, there are some great restaurants nearby and it's just been a super chilled stopover.”

Image: Bekezela Parade of Sail

Melody Stokes, UK, Mechanical Engineer and Ecologist, circumnavigator on Bekezela: “It’s been brilliant. The people here have been so friendly and helpful, especially the NCYC volunteers who have assisted us with all our provisions. It couldn’t have been better.

Maisie Bristow, UK, AQP on Bekezela: “The club have been absolutely fantastic in hosting us – I have hung out here a lot! The perfect sport to pootle around and see a new place.”

Image: Our Isles and Oceans Parade of Sail

Ella Nieper, Sports Coach, Legs 4,5 and 7 on Our Isles and Oceans: “It’s been amazing in Newcastle; we have had an amazing time. It’s been nice and sunny, and my parents came for the last few days, which has been really nice.”

Image: Yacht Club Punta del Este Parade of Sail

Nano Antia Bernardez, Uruguay, Skipper on Yacht Club Punta del Este: “Wow Newcastle, what a stopover! It has been one of the best stopovers so far. I have capitalized on my time, two good surfs, some four wheel adventures, my best friend came to see me which was very emotional after many years not seeing him, as well as my girlfriend – it’s been great to share the beach and the surf with them.”

Lottie Wade, UK, AQP on PSP Logistics: “It’s fantastic how much the yacht club have put on for us, it’s been very welcoming, I’ve enjoyed spending my time walking around and enjoying the local area.”

Image: PSP Logistics Parade of Sail

Justin Howard, Australia, Agronomist, circumnavigator on PSP Logistics: “Newcastle is a fantastic place, the yacht club, and the facilities are amazing. The people were so welcoming. The town has made the most of the river coming through, and we have had a wonderful time tripping around.”

Adams Hayne, America, Chef, Leg 4 on UNICEF: “Newcastle is very open and beautiful. Considering it used to be a coal mining town, now it’s very vibrant – good lifestyle, and nightlife, especially here around the marina.”

Image: UNICEF Parade of Sail

Tanya Horn, Mother and retired Nurse, Legs 1 and 4 on UNICEF: “I have loved Newcastle, we’ve had lots of good food and rest, and it’s been wonderful exploring this part of the country.”

Image: Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam Parade of Sail

Jaci, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam: “I don’t know what I have enjoyed most but we have had a lot of fun. We went to the beaches, swimming and surfing, we also went to the nature reserve and ate a ton of food. It’s been fun and the weather has been amazing.”

With Race 6 now underway, keep up with all the action on the Race Viewer.

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