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Qingdao team on top going into the Southern Ocean Stage of epic global sailing race
青岛帆船网 2019-11-18 19:56:16 

Qingdao team on top going into the Southern Ocean Stage of epic global sailing race

After back-to-back victories and three podiums from the first three races so far in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the Qingdao team entry, representing the Chinese sailing city on the global race route, is top of the overall leaderboard.

The international Qingdao team, formed of 21 men and women, aged between 23 and 69, including a chiropractor, engineer and dairy farmer,embarked on Race 4, aptly titled the Marlow Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride, from Cape Town, South Africa, to Fremantle, Australia, on Sunday 17 November.

The eleven strong fleet of identical 70-ft purpose built racing yachts departed the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, and as the race got underway at 1300UTC the teams raced for prime position on the start line which was framed by iconic Table Mountain.

Ahead of the start, Qingdao’s professional Skipper, Chris Brooks, who is leading the non-professional race team, said:“In some ways being in first place comes with extra pressure. Now we’ve had some good results it’s now expected of Qingdao to continue to keep getting the same.

“The previous race into Cape Town was quite tough with some really big wind and I think that’s going to be very similar to what this next race is going to be about it. The crew have had a good taste of what it is going to be like so I think this team is only going to get better. They really want to win this race”

Infamous for its grueling conditions, the 4,650 nautical mile-long race, which is estimated to take 25 days, will see the crew take on one of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. As the Cape of Good Hope falls astern, the teams will head towards the 40th parallel. This is where the Roaring Forties start, and the Southern Ocean provides some of the most extreme and exhilarating sailing in the world.

Of the 21 non-professional crew members racing on board the Qingdao team, two are Qingdao Ambassador Crew members, representing the city during the third stage of the Clipper Race. They will be racing alongside everyday people from five different nations on board as they head to Fremantle. Zheng Yi, 23, from Qingdao is proud to be representing his home city:“I was born in Qingdao and the city has given me a lot including this sailing experience and the opportunity to take part in Leg 3 of the Clipper Race. As an ambassador I am proud to tell everyone about my home city and Qingdao’s involvement in the race. We have already got three podiums and we are hoping to do the same in this race.”

The race is the fourth of 15 that forms the entire circumnavigation which began from London, UK, on 1 September. After stopovers in Portimão, Portugal; Punta del Este, Uruguay, and Cape Town, South Africa the fleet is due to arrive into Fremantle from 9 December 2019.

In total, almost 700 crew will take part in the 41,165 nautical mile circumnavigation which takes eleven months to complete. Crew can choose to race around the world or take part in one of more of the eight individual stages with the global route.

Each team, led by a professional skipper and first mate, is crewed by everyday people, from all walks of life and representing 43 different nationalities. Around 40 percent of the Race Crew have never sailed before signing up and completing the four levels of Clipper Race training.

From Fremantle, the race will restart on 22 December 2019 heading for Whitsundays, Australia; Sanya, China; Subic Bay, Philippines; Zhuhai and Qingdao, China; Seattle and New York, USA; Hamilton, Bermuda; Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland before finishing back in London in Summer 2020.


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