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Sailors begin longest leg in Clipper race
COMPETITORS in the Round the World Clipper Race have embarked on one of the longest legs of the year-long challenge.
The 12-strong fleet set off from Cape Town, South Africa today, for the big swells and winds on the Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride leg, which is expected to last around 20 days.
They will navigate their vessels to Albany, Australia, for race four.
One of those will be Vicky Ellis, who skippers the Switzerland vessel.
She said: “I am excited and looking forward to starting the Southern Ocean race, and having a safe and speedy run. We've done a lot of preparation this stopover to be ready for this race - our 'to do' list was called 'Southern Ocean proofing Heidi' and the list is now complete and we can't wait to start.
“The racing so far has been closer than I expected and it's going to be a tough one because everyone is going to be hitting it hard, but it is the Southern Ocean and it needs a good deal of respect so that is certainly going to be well ingrained into our strategy.”
Former Southampton City College principal Lindsey Noble, who is also on board Switzerland, will be hoping her team can knock Henri Lloyd from its perch at the top of the leader board after three races.
Titchfield's Pete Sterling, who skippers Jamaica Get All Right, said: “I'm feeling really good about the next race. Race three was a bit of a taster for the Southern Ocean, although not so much for us as we stayed a long way north.
“We have a really strong crew on board. The other day we had a refresher sail in Table Bay and it was blowing 40 knots, so it is good training.
“I think in race four we can expect to see speeds in excess of 30 knots. It can be a bit scary and as the skipper I will have to be very careful about who is on the helm and making sure they know what they are doing.”
Hampshire sailors also taking part are Charlie Pickering, 58, of Totton, Kate Hepworth, 40, Dave Richards, 63, Charles Slater, 39, all of Southampton, John Menetrier, 60, of Gosport, Peter Wilcock, 66, of Winchester, and Diana Nicholson, 56, from Southampton.
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