Clipper 2019-20 Race update: The Lakewood Hills, Zhuhai Race (number 7) is underway

The seventh stage of the Clipper 2019-20 Race will cover a route of 1,600 nautical miles, concluding back at Subic Bay Yacht Club, and is expected to be completed within eight to ten days, arriving between 2-4 March.

The new route for Race 7 will see the Clipper Race fleet head north from the Philippines, across the Luzon Strait and around the western most cluster of the Japanese Ryukyu Islands. The teams will then race downwind, east of Taiwan, and battle against the notorious Japan (Kuroshio) Current, which flows north and east of Taiwan, before heading back to Subic Bay.

Race 7: The Lakewood Hills, Zhuhai Race is underway. Following a vibrant Parade of Sail in Subic Bay, with the mountainous landscape as the backdrop, the race started at 0600 UTC (1530 LT) on Sunday 23 February.

“This race looks to be very tactical,” says Clipper Race Director, Mark Light. “We’re looking forward to a high-octane race, with lots of intensity, energy and extremely varied conditions.”

It was a downwind start with Punta del Este the first of the fleet to cross the start line, closely followed by Visit Sanya, China with Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam in third position.

As the fleet exits Subic Bay and turns north, they will experience light upwind conditions and potentially with some stop-start progress. The fleet will need to add on some extra layers as the temperatures are expected to cool as they progress north. However, upon the final run down the west side of the Philippines, the fleet can expect rising temperatures and a solid mixture of good downward conditions and light patches. It is expected that they will face strong wind on the beam as they race south in the Luzon Strait.

(Coronavirus meant that the route was amended: Race 7 and 8 have been combined to form one longer race of 8-10 days.)

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