Clipper Round the World Yacht Race arrives in Puerto Sherry, Spain after first race of circumnavigation

Race 1 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has finished with Perseverance taking the win of the first race of the circumnavigation. 

After the epic Race Start from Portsmouth, UK on 3 September and the fleet bound for Puerto Sherry, the conditions have made for an interesting competition with plenty of tactical racing required from the eleven teams during this race to Spain.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. This unique, epic event sees teams battle extreme conditions as they race more than 40,000 nautical miles around the globe in a true test of fortitude and determination. The global sailing race sees crew from all walks of life race across the world’s oceans: doctors race alongside teachers, electricians and tattoo artists, and many crew have no prior experience of sailing before undertaking the intensive, four-stage training programme required to race.

The 2023-24 edition got underway from Portsmouth, UK last weekend, and the fleet has now sailed the first 1000+nautical miles of this epic adventure in a testing first race.

The results of the first race of the 2023-24 edition are as follows: 

Taking first place in Race 1 is Perseverance 

Second place goes to Yacht Club Punta del Este 

And third place goes to UNICEF 

Perseverance Skipper Ineke van der Weijden said: “We had a fantastic welcome into Puerto Sherry with some local sherry and some flowers. It’s beautiful weather and we came in first! I think we are feeling a little shellshocked but super happy! 

“The crew has been fantastic. We had a rough day or two with seasickness and getting used to life on the boat, so some lows and some highs but the highs outweighed the lows. It was fantastic and we had a great time.” 

Speaking about the first race, where Perseverance maintained a strong lead throughout, Ineke added: “When you are in first place, it definitely creates a bond and motivation as well. It puts a little bit of pressure on Joss and me at the start, but then our lead increased and was consolidated, and we realised we were in slightly different weather than the other yachts. But for the crew it is just amazing because their whole dream of doing this and racing is paying off, and they just get on so well too.” 

The teams were welcomed in by supporters who had flown out to see the winner’s arrival, as well as Puerto Sherry General Manager Nicolas Figueras, Events and Logistics Manager Mariluz Rivero and Commodora Daniel Martínez Becerra who greeted them with well wishes and the local delicacy – sherry!

Nicolas Figueras, the General Manager at Puerto Sherry Marina, said: “Puerto Sherry proudly welcomes the first boat to arrive in our country. We hope that the five days they spend in El Puerto de Santa Maria will be a great experience. We have worked hard to make them feel at home in Puerto Sherry.”   

On the first race of the circumnavigation, Clipper Race Director, Mark Light said: “A huge congratulations must go to Ineke, Joss and the entire team of Perseverance, as the team has made a great start to its race campaign. 

“After making a fantastic move to the north early on day two, in the English Channel, it created a superb wind angle and never looked back. A decisive move early in the race and they pretty much led the fleet from that point onwards driving forwards to pull away at every opportunity. A really strong start for them, well-deserved and they will be very proud tonight.” 

Perseverance finished Race 1 in first place, however at this stage are second on the leaderboard behind Yacht Club Punta del Este. The team chose to gain three extra points by going for the Scoring Gate and were able to claw back some standings and finish Race 1 in second position. Thanks to the bonus points, YCPE are top of the leaderboard going into the second race.

The teams continue to arrive in Puerto Sherry over the next 24 hours.

Divided into eight legs, and 14 individual races, the 2023-24 edition will take the following route: 

Leg 1– Portsmouth, UK – Puerto Sherry, Spain – Punta Del Este, Uruguay 

Leg 2– Punta Del Este, Uruguay – Cape Town, South Africa 

Leg 3– Cape Town, South Africa – Fremantle, Australia 

Leg 4– Fremantle, Australia – Newcastle, Australia – Airlie Beach, Australia 

Leg 5– Airlie Beach, Australia – Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam – Zhuhai, China 

Leg 6– Zhuhai, China – Qingdao, China – Seattle, USA 

Leg 7– Seattle, USA – Panama Canal, Washington, DC, USA 

Leg 8– Washington, DC, USA – Oban, Scotland – Portsmouth, UK  

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