Commissioning is now well underway on the new Clipper 70 yachts which are continuing to arrive into the UK over the next few months ahead of the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race scheduled to start in late August.
Boat Number 1 (pictured) is currently sailing and we are using her to assess the tune and performance of the new class. She will also be used to establish the stability data required for our coding. Indications so far are encouraging and the boat appears to be at least ten percent faster upwind than the Clipper 68s.
The nature of the commissioning process is also to fully survey the vessels and carry out any remedial work prior to coming into service.
As the first boats have been surveyed, it has become apparent that there are certain points in the hulls where the infusion of resin has not performed satisfactorily and a programme of work to address this has been implemented.
“After stringent surveys last week we are in a position to agree the solution, and this work is starting now,” explained Clipper Race founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
“It is estimated the work to rectify the hulls will delay the commissioning process of boats 2 to 4 by seven weeks, and boats 5 and 6 will not be ready before the end of June.
“However, the remaining six boats are being checked in China and any remedial work will be carried out there, thus speeding up the commissioning process once they arrive in the UK. We do not anticipate any delay to the race start.”
Four Clipper 70s will be ready for the beginning of Level 3 training which will start as scheduled in mid May, with the other yachts joining as they are ready.