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Displaying items by tag: Clipper Round The World Race

At times during the last nine months the crew of Cork might have thought this moment would never arrive but on Sunday evening at 1947 local time (1847 GMT) they crossed the finish line at Kinsale; an emotional moment as they led the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race fleet into their home port at the end of the final transatlantic crossing of the 35,000-mile contest.

Cork’s original yacht ran aground on a submerged reef in the Java Sea in January, Clipper’s first loss of a boat in 14 years and more than 2,000,000 miles of racing. The crew of Cork were dispersed among the other nine teams to continue their challenge and came together again in Panama when they took delivery of their replacement yacht, a steel-hulled Challenge 67. 

After three tough races getting to grips with their new steed, the Cork crew certainly found their groove in the north Atlantic and proved once again that they are a force to be reckoned with on the water. They completed the 2,000-mile course from Cape Breton Island in a little over eight days, their corrected time from the timing gate, eight days, 30 minutes and 50 seconds. The rest of the fleet must now finish before approximately 1000 GMT in order to beat them. 

A flotilla of around 40 boats greeted Cork as she rounded the headland, medium weight spinnaker flying, while around 2,500 people lined banks of the harbour to watch the team arrive home. 

Arriving at Kinsale Yacht Club, where the team received a standing ovation from the members, and which will host the crews until 7 June, skipper, Hannah Jenner, said, “We made a pact that we would make sure we arrived in Cork being able to honestly say that we couldn’t have done any more – and we couldn’t. We’re here! 

“I don’t think anybody out of the skippers or crew in Cape Breton would have believed that we were going to have held them off. We weren’t achieving the same high speeds as they were but whereas we were reading in the daily reports that they were on two reefs and a poled out yankee 3, we were full main and poled out yankee 2 and staysail and were disappointed when we put a reef in for about six hours while it was blowing 40 knots! I can’t believe we’ve made it across the Atlantic having only had a reef in for six hours and having downwind sailing the whole way.”

Paying tribute to her team, Hannah said, “The crew work has been immense. This boat is not easy to sail and they did a really good job.”

As Michael Lewis steered Cork across the finish line, fellow round the world crew member, Kevin Austen perched at the end of the spinnaker pole. He said, “It was something else – I was up there for quite a while, but luckily Michael just managed to keep her down so there was no heeling over and tipping me off! To see that many people come out – and we weren’t even expected in today – was magic. I’ve played a lot of rugby and a bit of football and today is by far and away the best sporting day of my life. By a mile. I’m trying to stop myself crying, to be honest!”

There weren’t many dry eyes on board as the crew were moved by the warmth of the reception in Kinsale. 

Michael Lewis was at the helm as the team crossed the finish line and said, “It was fantastic – it was one of the toughest races we’ve done, physically and mentally. We really pushed the boat the entire way but fantastic fun and it’s great to be in here and what a welcome!


“We saw a few boats coming out and I was concentrating on helming. When I looked up, turned around and they were everywhere, it was just fabulous.” 


Jacqui Browne, who was aboard the original Cork when she ran aground and later helped prepare the replacement yacht and deliver her to the rest of the crew in Panama, was ecstatic at the welcome. 


“I had told the crew they’d get a great homecoming but they’ve exceeded 110 percent my own expectations!


“The race was awesome, just fantastic. Everyone really worked hard together. It didn’t matter whether you were on or off watch, people were just so willing and wanted to drive this boat. We really got what we could out of her and we’ve no sails torn, no spinnaker damage, so we’re thrilled! She’s a very physically demanding boat – there’s a lot of sore muscles and aches and pains. Someone said earlier today, the smell of Deep Heat coming out of this boat – it’s like a rugby locker room!”


The Cork Clipper project is funded by Fáilte Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork County Council with the principal objective of promoting Cork as a tourism and business destination around the world. 


Cork is the first of the ten yachts competing in Clipper 09-10 to arrive in Kinsale for the Cork Clipper Festival, a packed programme of food, arts and music events. The yachts will remain in Kinsale until 7 July when they will sail to the centre of Cork city where they will be berthed on the new city marina at Custom House Quay. For more information on the full festival programme, visit


Waiting on the pontoon to welcome the crew of Cork to Kinsale was the Mayor, Cllr Michael Frawley, who said, “I am delighted to welcome the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to Kinsale. We have been working to prepare a fantastic free festival over the next ten days and we look forward to offering all the visitors to Kinsale a true cead mile failte.”


All of the Cork crew have friends and family among the thousands expected to descend on Kinsale and Cork over the next 12 days. 


Round the world crew member, Orla Mellett, said, “If I believe everything I have been told, between the Lewis, Mellett, Osborne and Austen families (the four Irish round the world crew members) they seem to be taking over about half of Kinsale!” 


Because of the differences between Cork and the lighter and longer Clipper 68s, the Clipper 09-10 fleet is racing under IRC ratings and Cork must wait until all ten teams cross the finish line to see whether their Herculean efforts have been rewarded with a podium place at the prize giving ceremony on Wednesday 7 July in Cork City.


The yachts will be open to the public between 3pm and 5pm on Sunday 4 July in Kinsale and in Cork City between 11am until 1pm on Thursday 8 July. There will also be two presentations for those interested in taking part in the next edition of the Clipper Race, which starts in August 2011. The presentations will take place at Kinsale Yacht Club at 6pm on Sunday 4 July and in the Pegasus Suite at the Clarion Hotel, Cork, on Thursday 8 July.


The yachts will leave the centre of Cork at 1300 local (1200 GMT) on Friday 9 July for the start of Race 13, the penultimate stage of the 14-race series, to Ijmuiden, Netherlands. Clipper 09-10 will finish in Hull, UK, on Saturday 17 July 2010. 

Published in Clipper Race

The strong winds of a low pressure system tracking its way across the north Atlantic are helping to speed the fleet towards Kinsale.

Cork's crew are hoping that that they will win the coveted yellow pennant for first place in this race. With 850 miles to go they need to hold off the other nine teams if they are to step on the podium.Hannah Jenner, Cork's skipper, says, "We've had a lively day fast reaching under full main, staysail and number 1 yankee.

We are now waiting for the stronger winds of the low to arrive and hoping that the rest of the fleet, who will get the new wind first, do not make too many miles on us.  It is funny how at the beginning of the race, having 1,000 miles to go seemed like an eternity for the crews and yet now that Cork has sailed within the 1,000 mile mark we all feel as if the finish line is just around the corner.

Still we are the fox and the hounds are chasing hard, there will be a lot of hard work involved in these final 1,000 miles if we are to keep them at bay."The unknown quantity at this stage is Spirit of Australia. "Well, we have cashed in what will be our last Stealth Mode token of Clipper 09-10 round the world yacht race," reports Brendan Hall. Will we emerge from Stealth having made a bold and inspired tactical move or emerge exactly where you would expect us to be? Avid race viewer fans can probably guess the answer, but check back at 1200 GMT to see if you are right."Whether there are many tactical options open to Brendan and his crew is a matter for debate.

The bottom of the low pressure system is running along the rhumb line and all ten yachts are taking advantage of it."We are achieving some great speeds with lots of surfing," says Hull & Humber's skipper, Justin Taylor. "Despite the weather this is turning out to be a fitting swan song for many of the crew. One final downwind blast for the final ocean crossing as we have latched onto the bottom of a depression and hopefully will carry these strong winds right to Ireland. Unfortunately this will make it difficult to catch Cork Clipper but we are slowly eating into their lead."Due to the excellent progress the fleet has made, if the current conditions persist the first yachts are expected to arrive earlier than first estimated.

The majority of the fleet is now anticipated to reach Kinsale on Tuesday 29 June, with the possibility of earliest arrivals on Monday 28 June.In Kinsale, an exciting array of entertainment is planned including local and national circus acts and musicians, food and craft markets and live music at Kinsale Square which will feature Aaron Dillon and Band, Ian Whitty and The Exchange and a Cork and Cape Breton outdoor Ceili! On Wednesday 07 July the fleet will make its way in a parade of sail to Cork City.

To celebrate the Cork Clipper’s homecoming in style Albert Quay beside the Custom House will be transformed into a Race Village for three days from 10am to 10pm daily with food, drinks and crafts stalls. The main stage will host musical acts daily including John Spillane, Fred, The Walls and Crystal Swing.The Cork Clipper project is funded by Fáilte Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork County Council with the principal objective of promoting Cork as a tourism and business destination around the world.

Published in Clipper Race

The new Port of Cork City Marina was officially opened yesterday by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Micheál Martin TD in the presence of Mr. Dermot O’Mahoney Chairman of the Port of Cork.

Towards the end of 2009, the Port of Cork implemented a Leisure and Recreation Strategy for Cork Harbour. The primary focus of the strategy is on water based Leisure and Recreation activities in and around Cork Harbour in which the Port of Cork aims to play a leading role in providing and supporting improvements of amenities in these areas. Consultation with community groups, water related clubs, statutory bodies and other interested parties will be an important feature of giving life to this strategy in the future.

In early 2010 the Port of Cork was approached by the Clipper Round the World race organising committee and asked to investigate the opportunity of the Clipper fleet coming up to Cork City Quays. With no suitable facilities available at the time, the Port of Cork quickly saw the opportunity to advance a key aspect of the leisure strategy and to provide marina facilities in the heart of Cork City.

The Port of Cork decided that the investment should be made and the project should proceed. Cork City Council supported the project with some grant aid.

Dermot O’Mahoney, Port of Cork Chairman said: ‘The Port of Cork City Marina is a long term investment for the City of Cork which will be widely used. We look forward to welcoming the Cork boat and the other Clipper boats to Cork next month and I am sure they will be given a true Cork welcome!’

He continued: ‘As a goodwill gesture, the Port of Cork is offering the 100 metre Port of Cork City Marina free of charge to all users until 12th of July. Thereafter there will be an overnight charge however day time visits will remain free.’

Operating guidelines and charges are on the Port of Cork website

The Marina will also enable the Port of Cork Company to offer Cruise Companies the opportunity of tendering their passengers from Cobh to Cork City by boat. This year the Port will welcome 53 cruise vessels with over 100,000 passengers and crew with an estimated contribution of €40.9M to the City and region.

Port Management are actively promoting the region for 2011 and 2012 and so far 43 are scheduled to call in 2011.

Next weekend, Kinsale Yacht Club will be using the marina for their annual ‘Cruise in Company’ weekend.  The Port of Cork looks forward to welcoming Kinsale Yacht Club to the new marina and hopes that other sailing clubs and rowing clubs around the harbour will use the Port of Cork City Marina.

Cork Harbour offers significant potential for further development of the marine recreation sector as an important source of enjoyment and economic gain for the local residents and visitors.  The Port of Cork, primarily providing commercial services to its customers, is conscious of its responsibility to all other stakeholders in Cork Harbour.

In Cork, the world’s second largest natural harbour, it is critically important for both commercial and leisure to work together in harmony. The Port of Cork is committed to achieving this while also respecting the principles of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility.


Minister Micheal Martin and Donal O'Mahoney, Port of Cork Chairman, pictured at the official opening of the new marina in glorious sunshine in Cork city yesterday.


The new Port of Cork City Marina.


Minister Micheal Martin and Donal O'Mahoney, Port of Cork Chairman, pictured at the official opening of the new marina in glorious sunshine in Cork city yesterday.
picture  Diane Cusack  GMC Photography

Published in Cork Harbour

For the Irish entry it has been 24 hours of mixed fortunes as the team finds the weather going from one extreme to the other.

Itís been 24 hours of tricky navigation and careful helming in thick fogas the Clipper 68s continue to pursue Cork across the Atlantic to herhome port on the Emerald Isle. Not only that but fast downwindconditions have taken their toll on spinnakers and there have beenseveral reports of kite damage across the fleet. 
Corkís skipper Hannah Jenner says, ìAfter a wild night last night withwinds gusting to 34 knots, we eventually dropped the heavyweight kite asthe sea state had built to a point that made the ride a little too onedge. We spent the rest of the night maintaining great speeds and verymuch enjoying the sailing and were ecstatic to see that we had actuallymade some gains on the fleet. 
ìUnfortunately the GRIB files told a little porky (lie) today and thecentre of a low passing over us was further south so we went on a goslow. Still, not ones to be easily disheartened we took thedisappointing sched news in our stride and celebrated the fact that sixof the round the world crew members on Cork have become the first in thefleet to cross all lines of longitude and therefore technically havecircumnavigated the globe.î
Skipper Chris Stanmore-Major says, ìToday has been a curious journeythrough an eerie half-light world out here on Newfoundlandís GrandBanks. The heavy fog which descended over the entire fleet last nightpersisted throughout the day, focussing the Qingdao helmís concentrationfurther than possibly ever before. With no defining marks to aim for,only the feel of the wheel in their hands and the information from theshipís systems to guide them they have taken their kite driving to newheights.
ìBelow Qingdaoís decks the sail loft has been hard at work repairing atear to the medium weight kite which happened a few days ago. We haveBarbara Grant and Becky Block to thank once more for heading a team whohave repeatedly performed miracles with a suit of sails that are nowover 30,000 nautical miles old and feeling a little tired.î
The Chinese teamís Asian competitors have also suffered kite damage,both to their mid-weight and lightweight spinnakers and this coupledwith light winds has led to Uniquely Singapore slipping into tenthplace.
ìItís frustrating being at the back and itís a position we havenít beenused to for a few races,î reports skipper Jim Dobie. ìHowever the windgods are with us and with the forecast predicting stronger winds withthe approach of a low pressure system we should be able to put ourheavyweight kite to good use. We now look to reclaiming the miles lostand working up the fleet and, as ever, we have that ëcan doí Keppelspirit motivating us.î
Also flying their heavyweight spinnaker due to the demise of theirmedium weight is the team on board Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, as theScottish entry clears the thick fog and heads out into open ocean.  ìThe Grand Banks are always foggy and they havenít disappointed,î saysskipper Matt Pike. ìA stiff breeze, flat sea, visibility down to threeor four boat lengths and a spinnaker up! Unfortunately not the mediumweight as that decided to end its days in spectacular style. So we areflying the heavyweight and playing trim to maximise our speed. 
ìThe fleet has been sailing in a line straighter than we can manage in aLe Mans start. Now as the fog clears, we are spreading out again and oneby one disappearing off the AIS (Automatic Identification System) soplotting positions every six hours becomes vital to see which course isproving to be the best.î
Just ahead of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital and trying to make gains onthe boats further north is Cape Breton Island, a task that isnít provingto be that easy, especially as the team has also suffered sail damage.Like Chris on board Qingdao, skipper Jan Ridd was also full of praisefor his chief sail repairer in his report to the race office. 
ìHere on the Big Blue Canoe we have been working very hard to try andmove to the front of the fleet but with all the crews now so evenlymatched it is really hard to make any significant gains. Unfortunatelywe had a setback yesterday as we noticed a two foot split in ourmainsail. We can think of no reason this happened except for the sailjust wearing out after the extreme use it has been put through over thepast nine months. Whilst still sailing under spinnaker we struggled tolower and detach the mainsail and flake it on the deck to allowKatharine, who is in charge of our sail repairs and has worked miraclesall the way round world, to set to work. In the cold and damp of the fogshe worked tirelessly for four hours all the way through her off watchwhilst various crew members assisted her. 
ìWith repaired mainsail re-hoisted we are now sailing in what I termgood English sailing weather - cold and wet!î 
The English sailing weather should be suiting English entry Hull &Humber as the team finds themselves in a neck and neck drag race withthree others. 
Skipper, Justin Taylor, says, ìThere are four of us line abreast racingas hard as we dare. Seven miles to the north of us is Spirit ofAustralia and just to the south is California and Qingdao. At dusk webroke through the dense fog as we came off the Grand Banks and intodeeper water and like Cork we were treated to the sight of humpbackwhales swimming slowly in the other direction.
ìI think itís going to be a long night as the weather has turned squallyand we are ready to reduce sails as soon as the wind starts toincrease.î
Alongside Hull & Humber, the team on board California is enjoying theintensity of racing in such close proximity. 
ìIt has been exhilarating reaching under the heavyweight spinnaker allday, with everyone totally focussed in the limited visibility,î saysskipper Pete Rollason. ìWe have just sighted our first Clipper yacht,Qingdao, off our starboard quarter and we know the rest of the fleet isalso pretty close by. This looks like it will be a close one all the wayacross to Cork and talking of Cork we are closing down the miles to thehare in this race. 
For the Irish entry it has been 24 hours of mixed fortunes as the teamfinds the weather going from one extreme to the other.
Corkís skipper Hannah Jenner says, ìAfter a wild night last night withwinds gusting to 34 knots, we eventually dropped the heavyweight kite asthe sea state had built to a point that made the ride a little too onedge. We spent the rest of the night maintaining great speeds and verymuch enjoying the sailing and were ecstatic to see that we had actuallymade some gains on the fleet. 
ìUnfortunately the GRIB files told a little porky (lie) today and thecentre of a low passing over us was further south so we went on a goslow. Still, not ones to be easily disheartened we took thedisappointing sched news in our stride and celebrated the fact that sixof the round the world crew members on Cork have become the first in thefleet to cross all lines of longitude and therefore technically havecircumnavigated the globe.î
The next crew which look set to celebrate this occasion are round theworlders on board Jamaica Lighting Bolt as the team moves to the frontof the chasing pack. 
ìThe fleet has spread out fan like across this small section of theNorth Atlantic with more than 60 miles separating Jamaica Lightning Boltfrom the most northerly yachts,î reports the skipper of the Caribbeanentry, Pete Stirling. ìDespite this we are all still very close to eachother in terms of distance to finish. 
ìAccording to the weather GRIB files we should be getting stronger windsby Thursday as a depression passes north of us. This is forecast todeliver winds from behind of 30 knots plus and since the GRIBs tend tounderestimate wind strength we could get quite a bit more.î
Having been at the front of the chasing pack yesterday, Spirit ofAustralia is pushing hard to re-establish themselves as the frontrunners but are also being careful not to push too hard. 
ìWe are cautioned by hearing other boats stories of blown and damagedspinnakers,î says skipper Brendan Hall. ìSo we are being veryconservative with our own and not pushing them past their limits.
ìNow weíre all just looking forward to finding the warm Gulf Streamcurrent and hopefully seeing some whales of our own!î
Although the boats to the north have escaped the fog, Team Finland stillfinds themselves with limited visibility much to the frustration ofskipper Rob McInally who is looking forward to sailing in sunnier climesonce more.  
ìThe Grand Banks of Newfoundland are now behind us, the Flemish Cap isunder us and still the fog surrounds us,î bemoans Rob. ìSoon we will beinto the more exposed North Atlantic, hopefully free of this fog, andinto the path of the continuous low pressure systems which are set toblow us across to Ireland. Our positioning in relation to these systemswill ultimately decide how much wind and for how long we will be withinthem. Already you can see the split in the fleet as the tactics for thelow pressure systems effects their course to steer.î
Positions at 0900 UTC, Tuesday 22 June


Boat                          DTF*        DTL*
1 Cork 1282nm
2 Jamaica Lightning Bolt 1436nm 154nm
3 Spirit of Australia 1440nm 158nm
4 California 1441nm 159nm
5 Hull & Humber 1441nm 159nm
6 Qingdao 1443nm 161nm
7 Cape Breton Island 1445nm 163nm
8 Team Finland 1449nm 167nm
9 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 1450nm 168nm
10 Uniquely Singapore 1470nm 188nm
*DTF = Distance to Finish, *DTL = Distance to Leader) Full positions are
updated every three hours and can be found at
1 Cork 1282nm 2 Jamaica Lightning Bolt 1436nm 154nm 3 Spirit of Australia 1440nm 158nm 4 California 1441nm 159nm 5 Hull & Humber 1441nm 159nm 6 Qingdao 1443nm 161nm 7 Cape Breton Island 1445nm 163nm 8 Team Finland 1449nm 167nm 9 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 1450nm 168nm 10 Uniquely Singapore 1470nm 188nm

Published in Clipper Race

Kinsale is the first port of call in Europe for the final leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and the fleet, including the Irish boat “Cork”, have now left Canada and are on their way to Kinsale. To celebrate the race’s arrival the town of Kinsale plans a party to remember. Kinsale Clipper Stopover Carnival will extend a fantastic welcome to all the participants. The Carnival will take place from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th July, with a whole host of free entertainment for all the family. The fleet of 10 Clipper Round the World yachts is expected to arrive during Friday/Saturday and the event, centred on Kinsale and, then on to Cork City, is estimated to be worth €10 million to the region.

The Carnival Weekend has something for everything and one of the centrepieces will be Live Music at the Square with local, national and international acts, featuring artists such as Ian Whitty and The Exchange; Aaron Dillon and Band; Novella Hermosa and Txutxukan.

Food and drink are key ingredients for a good carnival and there will be plenty of both at the fabulous Artisan Food Market on Long Quay where stallholders will participate in a market which will feature the finest artisan food to go, all from the locality. There will also be Tea Tents located at busking spots throughout the town offering the public a wide range of usual and unusual tea blends. The busking spots will feature performers such as The Invisible Men; Grant Goldie; The Fanzinis and their Cannonball Circus and Cork City String Quartet.

Highlights of the Carnival Weekend include “Ebb-Tide-Flow” an audio-guided walk on mp3 players. Designed by artist Fiona Hallinan and composer Alex Synge, the tour is accompanied by an original map and comprises a score and original text written for the Scilly walk. Kinsale Historical Walks with Dermot Ryan leaves daily at 10.30am and 3pm from the Tourist Office. Also, during the weekend, children and adults will be invited to come to the Methodist Church in the town to make a page for “The Clipper Adventure Book”.

Friday, July 2nd, will see the Kinsale Clipper Burrells. A Burrell is an evening of music in different venues, where, instead of the audience travelling to see different acts in different venues, the acts come to each venue in turn.

The Finale of what promises to a fun-filled weekend with free entertainment for everyone, on Sunday 4th July, will be the Kinsale Clipper Parade where the streets of Kinsale will be transformed into the mighty trade routes. 

On Monday 5th & Tuesday 6th July come and see the Clipper Yachts at the Kinsale Yacht Club marina then, on Wednesday 7th July, 11am gather on Pier Road to wish farewell to the Clipper Fleet as they parade to Cork city for a three-day festival there.

There will be PARK & RIDE system in operation for the weekend, for information, pick up a traffic information leaflet at Kinsale Tourist Office or visit <

The Kinsale Clipper Carnival is sponsored by Cork County Council, Cork City Council and Failte Ireland. For more details on the Clipper race visit 


Published in Clipper Race

With strong winds forecasted for the next couple of days, a confident Cork crew departed New York for the start of Race 11 of the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race – an 800-mile sprint to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

Speaking ahead of the race start Cork’s skipper Hannah Jenner, said, “I’ve just been checking out the forecast and it looks like we’re going to have some stronger winds on this race. We’re looking at up to 30 knots downwind which means we’re going to have to build some serious arm muscles because the boat’s quite heavy, but it’s definitely looking more favourable than before.

“The race is a short one and so far we’ve kept in touch with the fleet for the first 48 hours, so if we can extend that a little bit on this one we should get a good result. Every time we go out we learn a little bit more about the boat and with our IRC handicap applied we stand every chance of doing well.”

The Clipper fleet treated New Yorkers to a parade of sail past the Statue of Liberty before heading out of the Hudson to the site of Ambrose Lighthouse where Race 11 got underway at 1645 local time (2045GMT) with a Le Mans start.

With winds touching the 30 knot mark, most crews opted for a Yankee 2 and reefed mainsail combination with Cape Breton Island andCalifornia first out of the blocks after the Le Mans start. Overall race leaders Spirit of Australia were in hot pursuit though and followed Cape Breton Island's lead in shaking out their reef shortly after the start with the rest of the fleet soon following suit.

Despite their poorest result of the ten month series on the latest leg of the race, Spirit of Australia is still holding a comfortable lead at the top of the overall leaderboard. But with four races still to go and the performance amongst their competitors improving all the time, the Australian team cannot afford to rest on their laurels.

Competition is exceptionally close amongst the teams currently lying in the three places below Spirit of Australia, with just two points separating Cape Breton Island, Team Finland and Jamaica Lightning Bolt, who hold second, third and fourth place respectively. Hull & Humber are also not out of contention for an overall podium and with their first podium place result in Race 8 they will be hungry for another. Further down the order there is Asian rivalry between Uniquely Singapore, who scored their first victory in Race 10, and Qingdao who despite four third place results have yet to make it to the top of the podium. The team on board Cork will be hoping to show what their Challenge 67 is capable of and with stronger weather forecasted for this race than the last, they will be fully in contention. Keen also to prove their worth are California and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital who have yet to get a podium place result – so the final four races of Clipper 09-10 promise to be fiercely contested.

In addition to the closely fought points for the individual legs there is an extra dimension to the 800-mile race from New York to Cape Breton Island. Designated the ‘Eagle Spirit Race’ by Cape Breton Island’s sponsors, with the inspiration coming from the magnificent eagle that emblazons the side of their yacht, the team’s will be competing for the Eagle Spirit Trophy. There are three magnificent trophies up for grabs, each depicting a soaring eagle, which will be awarded to the podium placed yachts at the Race 11 prize giving ceremony on June 14 in Sydney.

There is a centuries old tradition of welcoming visitors to Nova Scotia which continues to be extended by the people of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia today. Their famous warm welcome and hand of friendship will be awaiting all the crews of Clipper 09-10 when the race arrives in Sydney between 11 and 13 June

Published in Clipper Race

Race 10 is already over for Cork. Concerned that they would not reach New York in time to be ready for the next race to Cape Breton Island, yesterday evening the Race Committee offered the Irish team tenth place. Skipper Hannah Jenner and her crew have accepted it and are now motoring towards North Cove Marina on Manhattan Island.


"Spirits are as high as they can be and that is testament to a bloody good team.  I think if we all had the choice we would turn right now and head straight for Cork," she says.

Cork, a steel-hulled Challenge 67, is a much heavier boat than the Clipper 68s and will do well in tougher, upwind conditions as we saw on the race to Jamaica where, on corrected time under the IRC rating system, the team finished in a creditable eighth place in their first

race back together on their new boat.

However, the very light conditions the crew has been experiencing over the last few days have pinned them frustratingly just to the north of the Bahamas, much as California was held prisoner in the Doldrums during Race 2. The Race Committee made their offer in order to allow Cork's resilient crew to reach New York in time to prepare themselves for Race 11.

Hannah says, "I think all of us are gonna need quite a few beers when we get in! I am very lucky to have a crew with such a good attitude or this would be a very difficult situation."

Meanwhile, the race goes on for the team that knows only too well from the early stages of Clipper 09-10 round the world yacht race what if feels like to be frustrated at every turn by the lightest of airs.

California, along with Jamaica Lightning Bolt and Team Finland, is now making good speed towards the Big Apple and skipper Pete Rollason says, "The crew on board California have realised for some while that we are battling for the minor places in Race 10 but battle we will.

Congratulations to Cape Breton Island, Uniquely Singapore and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital for getting the Scoring Gate points. It has been a great race to watch from our position as the leaders fight it out in some very close racing so I am sure everyone watching the race viewer on the website will be on the edge of their seats with chewed nails wondering who will take the honours into New York.

The Clipper Round the World yacht Race will arrive in Kinsale and Cork City for an 8 day festival from 02-09 July 2010. 

In Kinsale, an exciting array of entertainment is planned including local and national circus acts and musicians, food and craft markets and live music at Kinsale Square which will feature Aaron Dillon and Band, Ian Whitty and The Exchange and a Cork and Cape Breton outdoor Ceili! 

On Wednesday 07 July the fleet will make its way in a parade of sail to Cork City. To celebrate the Cork Clipper’s homecoming in style Albert Quay beside the Custom House will be transformed into a Race Village for three days from 10am to 10pm daily with food, drinks and crafts stalls and a large stage for musical acts such as Cork favourites John Spillane and Fred.


Published in Clipper Race

The significance of the day was not lost on those taking part in Clipper 09-10 round the world yacht race as ten yachts lined up on the start line for the short sprint to Jamaica, the crew of Cork, Ireland racing together again as a single unit for the first time since their original boat ran aground in Race 5.

As the Irish team prepared to leave the marina this morning Noreen Osborne, one of Cork’s round the world crew, said, “I haven’t slept a wink. I think it’s going to be exciting to get Cork out on the water. It was a very proud moment when we came into the marina yesterday and saw her dead ahead of us in her Cork colours.

“We’ve got a full fleet leaving Shelter Bay, which is going to be pretty awesome. It’s been four months since everybody’s been together in this way and I think Cork’s going to get a great reception out on the water. I think everybody’ll be a bit emotional on board and the other crews as well; I think they’re excited for us at the same time.

“It’s a very different boat, it’s going to take us a bit of time to get used to the lay of the land and the way it works but we’ll do our very best to get out there and sail hard and sail fast. Hannah (Jenner, the skipper) is really motivated and determined and says a lot of people start to tire and slacken off at this stage but she wants to keep full throttle on so everybody, just man up and do whatever needs to be done. So it’s going to be interesting!”

Making final preparations before leaving the marina, Hannah Jenner said, “It’ll be nice to get out and get settled into it. A few people have been here for a long time and have got cabin fever, poor Orla only arrived at about midnight last night so we’ve just got to be a bit flexible about this whole thing en route to Jamaica and just figure things out as we go. There’s loads of excitement and people are really happy. I think it’s slightly overwhelming for some people but by the time we get to Jamaica we’ll be slick!”

Last to join the boat due to a longer than average transit through the Panama Canal on Cape Breton Island, Orla Mellett arrived in Shelter Bay Marina late on Friday night and her first priority was to go to see her new boat.

“She’s fantastic,” she said. “It’s great to have our own boat back again and she looks great in the water. I can’t wait to see her with the other nine boats and to be ten again. When I saw her last night I was pretty stuck for words and that’s unusual for me. To finally see her... she looks amazing.”

In addition, for the first race on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal there was a palpable feeling that the 35,000-mile race is on the home strait. There are still six races, including this one, to be contested and competition among the fleet for the coveted podium positions and the valuable points that come with them is stronger than ever.

The teams left the marina in drenching tropical rain and zero wind and the race start line was set 50 miles from the coast of Panama. At 1831 local time (2331 GMT) Race 9 got underway with a Le Mans start in 15 knots of breeze from the north east.

All ten boats lined up for a rolling Le Mans start where the crews race to hoist their headsails in the fastest possible time.

Most of the fleet opted for their Yankee 1 with Hull & HumberTeam Finland andUniquely Singapore making cracking starts but it wasn't long before overall race leadersSpirit of Australia pushed their way through to rival Hull & Humber at the front of the pack.

The 520-mile upwind sprint to Port Antonio on Jamaica’s north coast is likely to be one of the closest of the Clipper 09-10 campaign.

For the crew of Jamaica Lightning Bolt this stage holds particular significance as it is the race to their home port. Pete Stirling, skipper of the yacht named after the fastest man on earth, said, “This is the big one – I’m actually a little bit nervous about it because there’s quite a lot of pressure on. It’s exciting but there’s probably more pressure than any previous race. Expectations are higher than ever before and we’re definitely looking for a win this time.”

The yachts passed through the Panama Canal to reach the Race 9 start line and the experience gave those on board a moment of reflection, in particular those who competing in the complete circumnavigation.

Jeremy Reed, a round the world crew member on Hull & Humber, said, “It was quite surreal when the first gate you go into closes behind you and you suddenly realise that that’s the end of the Pacific. That’s quite an emotional moment.”

He continued, “Going through the final lock was again quite emotional, when you realise that the last lock is opening on to the Atlantic and in effect you’re on your way home. But I’ve had that feeling quite often that you’re on your way home during the race – in Qingdao , that’s the furthest point east you’re going to be, then you cross the 180 degree meridian you go from the eastern hemisphere to the western hemisphere so that’s another big moment, then half way in terms of time and then distance, so there are several moments when you think you’re on your way home but this is probably the most significant one, going from the Pacific to the Atlantic.”

The race to Port Antonio, once home to Hollywood legend, Errol Flynn, is expected to take three to four days and, after the short but busy pit stop in Panama and a sprint even Jamaican hero Usain Bolt would be proud of, the teams will be able to relax and enjoy all Jamaica’s vibrant north coast has to offer.

Overall leader board after Race 8

1.     Spirit of Australia                      83 points

2.     Jamaica Lightning Bolt              68 points

3.     Team Finland                        67.3 points

4.     Cape Breton Island                     59 points

5.     Hull & Humber                         47 points

6.     Qingdao                        45 points

7.     Uniquely Singapore                    42 points

8.     Cork                           36.8 points

9.     Edinburgh Inspiring Capital      28 points

10.   California                     23 points

Published in Clipper Race

Global media coverage of Cork in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has reached over €600,000 according to a media evaluation report commissioned by Clipper Ventures and undertaken by SMS (Sports Marketing Surveys). The role of the Cork Clipper, which is sponsored by Cork City Council, Cork County Council and Fáilte Ireland, is to promote Cork as a business and tourism destination at every stopover  in the worldwide race and its presence is certainly paying off.

In conjunction with Tourism Ireland the Cork Clipper has been a valiant promoter of Cork and Ireland in destinations which so far have included Hull, La Rochelle, Rio de Janeiro and South Africa. With more stopovers planned in  the Caribbean, New York and Cape Breton before culminating in a homecoming festival in Cork, global media coverage is expected to exceed €1 million.

However, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the Cork Clipper crew in this year’s race. There have been several dramatic events that pushed Cork Clipper into the spotlight; In January the ten boat Clipper Race was cut to nine when the original Cork Clipper hit a reef in the Java Sea leaving it unsalvageable forcing the Cork Crew to join other teams. Cork Crew Gavin Kelly and Noreen Osbourne were caught up in treacherous sea conditions on board the California Clipper where she was demasted in rolling seas and some crew members were evacuated with injuries. The marine conditions were briefly overshadowed when the volcanic disruption of air space left Qingdao’s Skipper Chris Stanmore-Major stranded in the UK only to be rescued by new Cork Clipper Skipper Hannah Jenner who stepped in to skipper Qingdao from San Francisco to Panama. Hannah continues to grab attention with her amazing performance battling for 1st place with Spirit of Australia.

The weather conditions were not out of the headlines for long with this morning’s announcement that Race 8 will be cut short due to extremely light and unreliable winds which could affect the fleet's planned transit through the Panama Canal. Joff Bailey, Clipper Race Director explained the importance of cutting the race short,

“A delay in arriving at the lock gates of the Panama Canal means that they run the risk of not being able to transit the isthmus on schedule and as a result would be made to wait for several days.”

The shortened race will come as a welcome surprise to the separated Cork Crew as it means they will be reunited sooner than previously thought. The new Cork Clipper yacht is ready and waiting for its crew to rejoin the race in Panama. After the emotional rollercoaster offered by this year’s Clipper Race, sailing into Cork on the new Clipper Yacht be all the more special. The homecoming festival in Kinsale will be held from the 02 to 07 July and will feature international circus acts, food/ drink and crafts stalls as well as live music in Kinsale Square. The homecoming revelry will continue when the Clipper fleet arrive in Cork City on Wednesday 07 July for a 3 day festival. A free festival will be held at the specially constructed Race Village with live music, street theatre, amusements and food and drink concessions.


Published in Clipper Race
Newly appointed Cork Clipper round the world yacht race Skipper, Hannah Jenner, will earn her 2010 sea legs earlier than expected. The volcanic disruption of the air space has left Qingdao’s Skipper Chris Stanmore-Major stranded in the UK after he flew back for a family medical emergency, almost leaving Qingdao stranded in San Francisco Bay. In the true Clipper spirit of helping one another Hannah Jenner flew back from back from Antigua where she was refitting and commissioning the new Cork boat, to Skipper Qingdao on its next leg from San Francisco to Panama. Speaking from the UK Chris expressed his gratitude and relief that his crew was in such good hands,
“I am delighted to learn that Hannah Jenner is available to drive Qingdao. This will be great boost to the team who have found a new taste for podiums and is keen to continue and develop that into even greater success on the next leg. Hannah is no stranger to the podium having won third overall on Glasgow, Scotland with Style in the last race. I hope my team will benefit from her great skill and maintain their momentum.”
Hannah, who had already been in San Francisco to greet the Cork Clipper and meet her new crew on their arrival through the Golden Gates, was happy to oblige and feels it will prepare her for when she takes control of the new Cork boat in for the Panama leg.
 “It’s exciting to be here and I’ve now got to get my head back into race mode as I’ve been in refit mode for the last week” said Hannah. “There are a few differences between this race and Clipper 07-08 in terms of racing instructions with Scoring Gates and Stealth Modes to consider but I’m always up for a challenge and I’m definitely looking forward to this one”.
The volcanic disruption leading to the skipper substitution is only one of several natural element challenges that have affected this year’s eventful Clipper Race. In January the original Cork Clipper hit a reef in the Java Sea leaving it unsalvageable and forced the Cork Crew to split up and join other teams before they collect their new boat in Panama on the 1st of May. And it wasn’t a case of plain sailing for Cork Crew’s Gavin Kelly and Noreen Osbourne on board the California Clipper. Their 90 foot mast snapped in rolling seas in the middle of the Pacific, 2200 miles from San Francisco.
All crews were rewarded with a long stopover in San Francisco where they enjoyed a civic reception at San Francisco Yacht Club, trips to Alcatraz and even a visit from Californian
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He commended the crews on their bravery, talent and hard work by saying,
“I applaud all the participants for putting their talents and skills to work. As a former professional athlete I know what it takes to excel in demanding sporting contests. Everyone here has trained hard to be ready for this once in a lifetime opportunity and you can be proud of what you have accomplished so far. To all the participants I wish you the best of luck and happy sailing.”
The Cork Clipper Crew’s adventures will come full circle when they sail into Kinsale for the Kinsale Festival July 2nd -7th in their new boat. Crew and supporters alike will be treated to an array of entertainment from international circus acts, food, arts and crafts stalls, tours and live music in Kinsale Square. The homecoming revelry will continue as they come into the Port of Cork in a Parade of Sail on July 7th -9th celebrated with live music and entertainment at the specially constructed Race Village in Albert Quay.
Published in Clipper Race
Page 11 of 11

About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is undoubtedly one of the greatest ocean adventures on the planet, also regarded as one of its toughest endurance challenges. Taking almost a year to complete, it consists of eleven teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.

This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to train drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest and most remote conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 76.

Now in its twelfth edition, the Clipper 2019-20 Race started from London, UK, on 02 September 2019.


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