RACE 6 WRAP - HALFWAY ROUND
WTC Logistics clinched victory in the Sanya Tropical Paradise Race from the Whitsundays, Australia to Subic Bay, Philippines in dramatic fashion. Overtaking Qingdao and Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, who finished second and third respectively, in the thrilling final 36hrs of racing.
Despite being a race of 3,800 nautical miles, Race 6 saw the first three teams arrive within 2 hours, 37 minutes and 19 seconds of each other. The varied tropical weather was a dominant feature in this race and it was a considerable area of light wind that disrupted the leaderboard in the final few days of racing.
After a wondrous stopover in the Whitsundays, Race 6 commenced on the east side of the Great Barrier Reef, following the first Le Mans start of the 2019-20 edition, the fleet headed north as did the temperatures. A first for many, and a second time for the Clipper 2019-20 Race, the teams crossed the equator in fine style, paying tribute to the achievement as seafarers have done for centuries. Welcoming the return of King Neptune and his court where Pollywogs became trusty Shellbacks.
The equator crossing was not the only event recognised on board during Race 6. The Clipper Race crew hail from all over the world, with over 40 nationalities represented and whilst racing the teams also celebrated the Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Burns night, Australia Day and Waitangi Day to name but a few. For the crew going round the world this was also a time for reflection on what they have achieved so far and a time to look forward to what is still to come as they reached the halfway stage of the circumnavigation.
The doldrums once again brought some unnerving conditions in the shape of squalls in-between becalming sea states. As the teams headed north, the winds built, giving the crews a chance to have a thrilling ride around the Philippines coast before lightwind tactics came into play in the Luzon Strait
Race 6 also was a reflection on the overall leaderboard seeing leaders Qingdao and Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam cover each other for the duration. Both securing their fifth podium finishes of the 2019-20 edition to date, meaning that they hold onto their respective places at the top of the leaderboard at the halfway point of the circumnavigation.
The Sanya Tropical Paradise Race was named in honour of Sanya as its original route was scheduled to stop in the stunning tourism destination on Hainan Island. Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID -19) situation, the visit to Sanya was canceled, however the team brought the city’s spirit with them as they arrived into Subic Bay Marina in the Philippines in fourth after narrowly missing out on a podium by just 39 minutes and 55 seconds.