The Clipper Race fleet will be sailing into Punta del Este this October, as the finishing port for the first leg of the global yacht race. The fleet is expected to arrive between 12-16 October ready for a packed programme of events for Race Crew and locals.
Host Port Partner Yacht Club Punta del Este will welcome Race Crew to the Uruguayan port after racing over 7000nm from Portsmouth, across the Bay of Biscay to Europe and then crossing the Atlantic to South America. The ‘Atlantic Trade Winds Leg’ will feature everything from tough, stormy conditions to the testing heat of the doldrums, making for a highly challenging and tactical leg to start the eleven-month race around the planet. This South American stop will mark the first ocean crossing of the race and Clipper Race Crew can expect a warmer welcome than ever after an intense voyage across the Atlantic.
Image: La Mano, Punta del Este
Located on the south-eastern coast of Uruguay, Punta del Este is a stunning destination, with a range of attractions and some of the friendliest locals in the world. Punta del Este not only has a world-renowned sailing scene, developed primarily through the Yacht Club Punta del Este and global sailing events like the Clipper Race, but is also a top surfing and water sports destination. The region’s beaches are perfect for water sports enthusiasts, as well as those looking to relax and unwind and sample a taste of the ‘St. Tropez of South America.’
A true showcase of Uruguayan culture, the Punta del Este stopover is set to be a spectacular event packed with a programme of cultural activities, business engagement and tourism events. Past stopovers have included a traditional ‘asado’ barbecue, beach cleans and community engagement events with local schools, with tens of thousands of visitors to the city to welcome the fleet. What’s more, the Yacht Cub Punta del Este will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary during the stopover, adding to the festivities.
Image: Beach Clean in Punta del Este
Juan Etcheverrito, Commodore of the Yacht Club Punta del Este said: “We are always very happy to be a Host Port of the Clipper Race. Being our third time in a row, I can say it will be hard to top the last two stopovers in Punta del Este, but not impossible! As the Yacht Club Punta del Este approaches its 100th anniversary, what better way to start celebrating than with this incredible event. See you soon and buenos vientos!”
Nano Antia Bernardez, Skipper on the Clipper 2023-24 Race, who grew up on the shores of Punta del Este says: “I feel so grateful and excited to have the chance to sail into my hometown for the third time. This passage in particular means a lot to me as it is the same ocean crossing my ancestors did when they were looking for a fresh start in the new lands of South America.
“To be the Skipper and lead a crew across the Atlantic into my home port is something I never could have imagined, and I feel privileged to be able to experience this. I’m so proud of the Yacht Club Punta del Este Team and Juan Etcheverrito who are always trying to connect the international sailing community with our city.
“I’ll have the chance to invite my crew, friends, colleagues, fellow skippers and my Clipper Race team to have an asado with my family and friends so they can eat the best meat in the world, drink the best wine in the world, meet the kindest people in the world. They will discover our culture, enjoy sightseeing, the surf, the forests and all those mystic corners of our undiscovered South American gem, Punta del Este.”
Image: Nano Antia Bernardez
Laura Ayres, Managing Director at Clipper Ventures added: “It is an absolute pleasure to be returning to Punta del Este for a third consecutive edition. Since the first stopover in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, the huge welcome and amazing hospitality of the Yacht Club and the local people is always a highlight on the race circuit for Clipper Race Crew, who get a true taste of South American culture.
“Punta del Este has an incredible yacht racing heritage, thanks to hosting global sailing events and its grassroots sailing scene pioneered by the Yacht Club Punta del Este. We are excited and honoured to be a part of the Yacht Club’s 100 year anniversary celebration. We look forward to sharing in the festivities and bringing the race to this iconic destination once again.