HomeCLIPPER RACECLIPPER RACE.SKIPPER THOUGHTS AHEAD OF RACE 10

CLIPPER RACE.SKIPPER THOUGHTS AHEAD OF RACE 10

SKIPPER THOUGHTS AHEAD OF RACE 10:  THE ULTIMATE TEST OF PERSEVERANCE

As the teams make the final preparations for the toughest race of the circumnavigation, we caught up with the Skippers and First Mates ahead of Race 10: The Ultimate Test of Perseverance.

This is the longest race of the circuit, with crew expected to spend between 26 and 31 days at sea. The race is famed for its huge conditions, and it is a part of the world were few vessels, let alone sailing yachts, venture. The teams can expect waves the size of tower blocks, winds of over 80 knots and sub-zero temperatures on board as the fleet hurtles through large weather systems in one of the biggest expanses of ocean on the planet.

The race will feature an Ocean Sprint and Scoring Gate with bonus points up for grabs, and this race is unique in that it gives teams the option to go into Stealth Mode twice, each for 24 hours, or for a single 48-hour period. Stealth Mode means that the team’s position will be hidden from the Race Viewer and the fleet. Two teams have played their Joker on this race, which doubles the race points. Both UNICEF and Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, currently sat in 4th and 5th place on the overall Race Standings, decided to play the lucrative Joker on this race across the North Pacific to double their points.

From Qingdao, the teams will motor to the rendez-vous point to begin Race 10 with a Le Mans start. From here, the first section of the race will feature variable winds as well as the added challenge of navigating the fishing fleets. The Kuroshio Current will make another appearance on the race circuit as the fleet heads past Japan. This warm water current, which can run up to 4 knots, will affect the sea sate, notably if the wind is going against the current, making for some challenging conditions. Once the fleet is into the North Pacific proper, this is when the huge conditions develop, making for some big surfs and cold temperatures all the way to the West Coast of the USA.

Race route

Image: Race 10 route from Qingdao to Seattle which is anticipated to take 26-30 days to complete

After weeks at sea, battling everything Mother Nature can serve up, the fleet will cross the Finish Line, 12nm from the Juan de Fuca strait, then motor into Bell Harbour Marina in Seattle.

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