Non-Professional sailors are circumnavigating the globe

Over 200 sailors many of them Non-Professional have arrived in Newcastle, Australia.  They have arrived in New South Wales sailing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The Clipper Race is a global sailing event.  It trains non-professional adventurers from all walks of life to race across the world’s oceans.  No prior sailing experience is needed. And non-professional sailors can undertake the intensive four stages of training required to compete in the event.

The race is split into eight legs across the 40,000nm circumnavigation, and participants can compete in one or multiple legs, with the entire race around the globe lasting eleven months.

The race is split into 14 separate sections across the 40,000nm circumnavigation. The arrival of non-professional sailors into Newcastle marks the end of Race 5. 

The race has seen the fleet of eleven faced a cocktail of challenging conditions.  Race 5 saw the non-professional sailors sail 2,500nm from Fremantle, Western Australia to Newcastle in New South Wales. 

A new stop on the race’s global route, it was a warm welcome from the hosting Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club.  Crews of non-professioanal sailors arrived in port and left their yachts for the first time in over two weeks. They had spent Christmas and New Year at sea with their boat families.

Mental and physical challenge

It was a real mental and physical challenge.  The race saw the fleet dip further south than at any other point of the circumnavigation. Teams arrived in NSW having rounded Tasmania and that gave non-professional sailors another taste of the Roaring Forties.

Sailing into first place was, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam.  She doubled down on the top spot as she gained her second consecutive win of this race edition. 

Maintaining a strong position in the standings throughout, the non-professional team started out jostling between fourth and fifth place. Then they accelerated to become a front runner.  This happened about a third of the way into the race. As the fleet rounded Tasmania, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam consolidated her lead.  And she managed to keep it until the finish line.  

Skipper of Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam Josh Stickland talked about the pressure of holding onto first place.  He said. “Staying in second place is a lot less stress, but we are chuffed to be in first place. We were lucky, as we had a sizeable chunk to lose. It was around 60-80 miles. So, we knew we could take our time with a few things, and not push quite as hard.” 

Podium placings

Among other non-professional crewed yachts to take the remaining podium placings was Dare To Lead.  She is skippered by South African Ryan Gibson. Aslo on the podium was the Chinese team entry Zhuhai skippered by James Finney. The duo battled it out throughout the 16 day race. 

Both teams taking the lead positions on ocassions. But it was Dare To Lead who jumped from third to second place. This happened as the team of non-professional sailors sailed around the southern tip of Australia’s island state.  They clung on to the second place spot.

Tail end Charlie, Yacht Club Punta del Este, sailed into port in time for the hotly anticipated Prizegiving ceremony. The leader board was updated and the winners of the bonus points were revealed. It was the perfect celebration of a tough race for crew.

Race standings so far

The race standings so far see Dare To Leadremainin the top spot.  She has 63 points. Perseverance and Zhuhai take second and third respectively. The full leader board can be seen here.

The Clipper Race got underway from Portsmouth, UK in September 2023.  So far on this edition, its fleet has sailed over 17,000 nautical miles.  Crewed by non-professional sailors they visited Puerto Sherry, Spain. Then they sailed to Punta del Este, Uruguay and onto Cape Town in South Africa. Departing there they raced to Fremantle, arriving in mid-December.  The teams then raced around Australia to Newcastle.   

From there, the non -professionals will head to Ha Long Bay in Viet Nam. And onto Qingdao and Zhuhai in China.  From there they sail across the North Pacific Ocean to Seattle and around the USA to Washington, DC.   They then sail to Portsmouth via Oban in Scotland.  They are due to arrive in Portsmouth at the end of July 2024.