Swell race for yachties

• Clipper Around the World yacht race’s Southern Ocean leg.

THE third leg of the Clipper Around the World yacht race is underway and its 11 teams are heading for Fremantle.

The race will see experienced skippers leading teams of landlubbers who have been given intense training to deal with the harsh conditions they will face.

Having sailed out of Cape Town and past the Cape of Good Hope, the 4750 nautical mile journey dubbed the “Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride” exposes the sailors to the Roaring Forties where swells are taller than average-sized buildings and cold winds blowing straight from Antarctica. Race director Mark Light knows the challenges mother nature will throw at the sailors and their 70-foot yachts.

“This is heavy weather sailing for sure, but the boats, equipment and crew are all prepared for it and up to the challenge,” Mr Light said in a race report on November 17.

Team Seattle won the previous leg of the race from Punta del Este to Cape town.

Crew member Rob Morris wrote about the harsh conditions in his diary.

“The race to date from Punta del Este to Cape Town has shown the power of the oceans and their impact on all of us, in which one must give so much respect.”

The teams are expected arrive at the Fremantle Sailing Club between December 9-14.

by ATSUHIRO TSURU

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