Clipper Race leaves Sydney Harbour

Daily Echo: Clipper yachts in race action Clipper yachts in race action

THE 12 yachts in the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race fleet started the classic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in Australia today in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators and TV viewers.

Great Britain was the first of the teams to cross the line, followed by Henri Lloyd and Qingdao.

Overall race leaders Henri Lloyd went round the first mark ahead of Great Britain with Qingdao third and PSP Logistics, sponsored by the Hampshire firm of the same name, in fourth.

The Clipper Race features professional skippers sailing with amateur crews, including several from Hampshire, some of whom have spent up to £50,000 to take part in the year-long event.

The Clipper yachts left the start line in Sydney Harbour as part of an overall fleet of 94 competitors, in what doubles as race 6 of 16 in the Clipper Race world series.

Mark Light, the Clipper Race’s deputy race director, said: “The start was very spectacular and all the boats got away cleanly off the start line in beautifully sunny Boxing Day conditions.”

Just before the start, Chris Hollis, skipper of PSP Logistics, said: “We are ready to race and everyone is really excited. No one is nervous – we are ready to perform really well.

"We have had a meeting about performance and evaluating ourselves and we want to settle in really quickly as soon as we are out of Sydney Heads and make the most of the race.”

The crews are expected into Hobart, on the island of Tasmania, on Sunday December 29, and will leave for race 7 to Brisbane on Australia’s east coast on New Year’s Day.

By the time they return to London in July, the Clipper fleet will have covered 40,000 miles over the course of 12 months.

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