During the final stages of Race 4, Qingdao inadvertently broke the 3nm Exclusion Zone from land (clearly laid out in the Course Instructions) when passing to the north of Rottnest Island on the final approaches to Fremantle.

Although this had been reported, the Clipper Race Office was aware as it constantly monitors the fleet’s progress. The transgression which took place at approximately 1300 UTC on Wednesday 13 December 2023, is clearly visible on the Race Viewer.

The team has been unable to provide any mitigating factors, and therefore, the Clipper Race Committee has applied a six-hour time penalty (as stated in the Course Instructions for infringement such as this).

Although this is clearly an oversight by the team, it is an expensive one in terms of race points. It is, however, worth emphasising that although the team has contravened the Exclusion Zone set out in the Course Instructions, it was still clear of land by approximately 2.6nm and did not put itself into any dangerous or difficult situation.

The six-hour time penalty is the minimum that can be applied to this type of incident, and it has been added to the team’s finishing time to calculate its finishing position for Race 4.

The net result is that Qingdao’s finishing position will drop from 6th to 9th for Race 4. All other teams affected have had their points and standings adjusted.

The Clipper Race Fleet have all been informed and the overall race standings have been adjusted.

Race 4 results are now as follows:

1st place – Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam – 11 points

2nd place – Zhuhai – 10 points

3rd place – Dare To Lead – 9 points

4th place – Bekezela – 8 points

5th place – UNICEF – 7 points

6th place – Our Isles and Oceans – 6 points

7th place – Perseverance – 5 points

8th place – PSP Logistics – 4 points

9th place – Qingdao – 3 points

10th place – Washington, DC – 2 points

11th place – Yacht Club Punta del Este – 1 point

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