It is nice to be back for a few days planning the next stage of the adventure, but I am starting to get itching feet already. Today I am in Den Helder where the whole idea of travelling round the world and the Clipper race began and where the boats will arrive on 23 July. Planning the next stage of my adventure is going well; 4 days with the Clipper teams in Qingdao, a 15 day tour through China and flights to visit Seattle and San Francisco to then drive a 20 day route visiting the National Parks on the way to Cedar Rapids. Can’t wait to get going again.
The Sydney to Hobart race started with very challenging conditions. Racing out of Sydney harbour under spinnaker ended with a very quick change to deeply reefed main and storm sails as the wind increased to over 50 knots. Some competitors were not so lucky and some, not the Clipper yachts, sustained ripped main sails, dis-masting and other damage which had them retiring on the first day. Andrew’s blog of the events leading up to the start and the sailing under the Sydney harbour bridge gives a telling account how high profile the Rolext Syndey – Hobart Yacht Race is in the sailing world.
The crew have been enjoying some free time in Sydney the boats have been lifted out of the water to be cleaned and a new anti-fouling layer to be applied. Many family have travelled here to see their loved ones and to celebrate Christmas in much hotter weather than back in the UK which is pretty weird. The Hobard race will start tomorrow and there is great exitement among the crews.
The Unicef crew has cycled 1000 kms in its bid to cycle the length of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (628 nautical miles/723 miles/1225 kms). The crew have cycled on static bikes at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia over the last four days. Their challenge finished a few days ago in driving rain and lots of wind, akin to the conditions of the notorious Bass Strait on the famous offshore race. Crew members from the Unicef yacht were joined by crew and skippers from other teams who cycled in the Race Village at the CYCA, Rushcutters Bay, Sydney.
On Saturday 31st October the clipper yachts left Cape Town and are now on their way to Albany Australia. The number of positive messages on Facebook pays tribute to the hospitality of Cape Town. All crew seem to have had a splendid time, enjoying every moment of their visit.
Saturday, after clearing immigration, the fleet left around midday in strong winds of 20 knots and gusts of 30 to 35 knots. Leg 3 is the big one, the Southern Ocean leg, named by the destination host port of Albany the ‘Wardan Whip’ as I explained in my last week’s blog post.
All the teams have arrived safely in Cape town this week and are enjoying the hospitality of South Africa and our sponsor Stormhoek supplying their fine wines.