Five Race Crew from Scotland have just crossed Atlantic Ocean – the first major ocean crossing of the Clipper 2023-24 Race.
They make up over 200 Race Crew from around the globe that have been welcomed into port at Punta Del Este, Uruguay having completed an arduous 5,300nm crossing of the Atlantic from Puerto Sherry in Spain.
Speaking on arrival into port, Stirling-born Clipper Race Skipper Max Rivers, who is leading Our Isles and Oceans team around the globe, said “The team have done fantastically well to get here. There have been many hardships, this morning being one of them! We are so happy to be here and what a welcome! The team has really come together, they had a brilliant race and pushed really hard, so we are ready to go again!”
Race 2: Hundred Years Cup was a game of tactics from the start, with the 26-day north to south Atlantic passage being notorious for its testing and varied conditions and can challenge even the most experienced of sailors.
North-east trade winds with consistent downwind runs, flat calms and sticky heat in the equator, and the vicious unpredictable squalls of the Pamperos weather front, the race to Uruguay left risk and reward a real balancing act.
Mark Light, Clipper Race Director, said “Race 2 was an amazing race. It was superb to follow on the Race Viewer, with spectators gripped until the very end. Fast and exciting racing, endless sail changes and gybes, and the inevitable windless areas which were hot and frustrating. Various tactics played out as teams navigated their way through the doldrums, and on to the final stretch.”
The Clipper Race is known to be one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet.
Having departed Portsmouth, UK on 3 September, it will take almost a year to complete its full 40,000nm circumnavigation. Divided into eight legs, the arrival in Uruguay marked the end of Leg 1 of the race.
This edition features over 700 people, aged 18 to 71, representing 55 nationalities and many diverse walks of life including electricians, orthopaedic surgeons, police sergeants and teachers, and the event’s first mother-daughter duo, competing together on a matched fleet of 70ft ocean racing yachts. 22 percent of the crew had never sailed before signing up to the challenge as a mandatory and intensive four stages of training is provided. Each team is led by a professional Skipper and First Mate.
At the prizegiving ceremony on Monday (16 October), Yacht Club Punta del Este took to the top spot on the podium, after sailing into their home port in first place. Second place went to Perseverance and third place to PSP Logistics. The latest Race Standings can be seen here.
Clipper Race Crew are now took some time to relax and unwind as they enjoyed a fiesta of activity at Host Port Yacht Club Punta Del Este, who is celebrating its 100-year anniversary.
Following the stopover in Punta Del Este, the fleet continue its circumnavigation on Leg 2, as Race 3: TIMEZERO South Atlantic Showdown sees the 3,555nm voyage to Cape Town, South Africa, a destination making its eleventh appearance on the Clipper Race circuit.
It will then head to Fremantle, Newcastle and Airlie Beach – Australia, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, Qingdao and Zhuhai – China, Seattle and Washington, DC – USA, before returning to Portsmouth at the end of July, 2024, via Oban, Scotland.
The five Scottish nationals are:
Andrew Fisher, 59, Business Owner, Edinburgh, Legs 1 & 2
Joan Kelly, 59, Midwife, Inverness, Leg 1
Susan Smith, 64, Retired, Argyll, Legs 1 & 2
Ross Dunlop, 60, Retired, Edinburgh, Circumnavigator
Vicki Leslie, 39, Head Chef, Shetland, Circumnavigator