Clipper Cup: Northbound to New York

(June 3, 2018) – The eleven teams competing in The Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race have embarked on their next adventure which sees them navigate the Caribbean on their way upwind to New York.

Race 11, named the Nasdaq Race, is approximately 1,900 nautical miles and began today after a Le Mans style start off the Atlantic coast of Panama. This latest competition should take 12 days to complete, with an arrival window of June 14-16.

Race teams Sanya Serenity Coast and Qingdao, are currently topping the overall leaderboard, with 121 and 108 race points respectively.

Clipper Race Director Mark Light describes Race 11: “Teams should not be complacent with the shorter distance of this race – it is going to be tactically tough. The crew will need to look out for big squalls at night and the Race Office will be keeping a watchful eye out for any tropical revolving storms.

“After navigating the obstacles of the Caribbean Islands and their reefs, the route will skim the Bermuda Triangle and should try to make the most of the Gulf Stream that follows the eastern coastline of the United States – extra gains of up to two to three knots can be made.”

Two competitors from New York, Duffy Drum, 63, and Chris Goodwin, 28, are sailing to their home city. Drum is a retired Naval fitness director from Long Island who won his place through a NYC newspaper contest. Despite being a novice sailor, the Clipper Race team were won over by his sense of adventure and love of the outdoors and he said he had plenty of time on his hands now he is retired.

Long Island resident, Chris Goodwin, who works in construction, is an experienced sailor. However, his experience has been supersized as he has swapped his smaller 18 foot boat for a Clipper 70, the stripped back ocean racing yacht he is now living on board.

On his experience so far, Goodwin says: “It has been everything I could’ve asked for and more. It’s been more of a physical and mental challenge than I expected with the noisy sleeping conditions and constant moving about. I was happy to gain the trust of my Skipper and fellow crew mates to do some exciting helming in challenging conditions as well as climbing the mast at night to address our spinnaker halyard.”

On sailing towards the Manhattan skyline, Chris continues: “The finish of the race in New York is going to be filled with mixed emotions. It will be sad to know that my Clipper Race adventure is coming to an end, but the joy of seeing my friends, family, and girlfriend at the finish line after a hard-fought race will surpass any tribulations. I’m sure as we approach New York Harbour, with that familiar skyline, I’ll be happy to be home.”

Held biennially, the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race got underway August 20 for the fleet of twelve* identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. The 40,000nm course is divided into 13 individual races with the team having the best cumulative score winning the Clipper Race Trophy. The race concludes in Liverpool on July 28.

Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew that signs up for one, some, or all the races. The 2017-18 race, expected to take 11 months, has attracted 712 people representing 41 nationalities, making it the largest to date.

* Twelve teams began the first leg but one yacht (Greenings) ran aground just hours after the start on October 31 of the third leg from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Australia. The crew was safely evacuated but damage to the boat was deemed too extensive for it to continue in the 2017-18 edition.

This story is from Scuttlebutt Sailing News.

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