Clipper Race team Qingdao begins race to home port
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is on its way to China's Sailing City of Qingdao, with the participation of the Host Port's team, Qingdao, currently sitting in second place in the overall standings.
The 1,700 nautical mile race from Sanya to Qingdao, officially known as Race 8: The Sailing City Qingdao Cup is the second and final stage of the Asia-Pacific Leg 5, one of eight legs that make up the 40,000 nautical mile Clipper 2017-18 Race.
Following a colourful Departure Ceremony at the Marina Industries Platinum Five Gold Anchor winning Sanya Serenity Marina, the Clipper Race fleet took to the waters of Sanya Harbour, where Nasdaq was the first team that got across the start line, followed by Visit Seattle and Dare To Lead, whilst Qingdao was in fifth place by the time the fleet rounded the first windward mark.
The 11 modern ocean racing yachts start their voyage to China's Sailing City of Qingdao. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
After leaving Sanya, the eleven 70 foot modern ocean racing yachts and their crews will spend the next ten to twelve days navigating the Kuroshio Current as they head north, where the scorching heat will be replaced by freezing conditions. Clipper Race Director Mark Light said, "The majority of Race 8 is likely to be in upwind conditions, certainly as they race off the east coast of Taiwan, and there is the North that is flowing warm Kuroshio current as well.
"The predominant North Easterly winds combined with the Kuroshio Current heading in the opposite direction, there will be wind over tide which can create heavy seas and short but sharp waves.
"As the teams head further North, the heavy weather will be replaced by fog, which will provide the fleet with a different challenge."