Displaying items by tag: Clipper Round The World Race
Over the years she has changed hands between Dutch and UK interests for recreational use. Several years ago she starred in the RTE TV reality show 'Cabin Fever' where she replaced the show's first ship Camaret of Cornwall (branded as 'Cabin Fever') after it ran aground off Tory Island.
During the two-day festival (11am-5pm) the boating community at the event will include the Coleraine Yacht Club, Foyle Paddlers, Foyle Punts, Lough Foyle Yacht Club, Lough Swilly Yacht Club, Moville Boat Club, RNLI and the Foyle (SAR) Search and Rescue.
Visitors to Foyle Days can call to the Clipper stand and learn more about the city's entry of the Derry~Londonderry boat in the 2011-2012 Clipper Round the World Race. Learn more about the countries the crew will visit and also how to get involved in the event. For more information about the race, at 40,000 miles is the world's longest race go to www.clipperroundtheworld.com/
Running alongside the festival a continental market with 40 stalls will be open to all at the recently revamped Guildhall Square. For further details about Foyle Days click here.
- Clipper Race
- Maritime Festival
- Lough Foyle Yacht Club
- Lough Swilly Yacht Club
- Moville Boat Club
- Tory Island
- JOHANNA LUCRETIA
- Foyle Days
- RTE TV
- Cabin Fever
- Camaret of Cornwall
- Reality TV show
- Clipper Around the World Race
- Guildhall Square
- Continental Market
- Coleraine Yacht Club
- Foyle Search and Rescue
- Foyle Paddlers
- Foyle Punts
- Offshore Sailing
- Clipper Round The World Race
- JOHANNA LUCRETIA
Mark, 39, is among the line-up of international sailors who have been appointed to the prestigious and challenging position following a rigorous selection process and says, "I am absolutely delighted to have got the job. It didn't sink in initially when I got the phone call but then the emails started coming through and it's now all very real. It's amazing – a great feeling!"
Derry-Londonderry's participation will form the centrepiece of the campaign leading up to the city's celebrations as UK City of Culture 2013.
Mark says, "When I got the job I had in mind that I would like to skipper the Irish entry so it's great to have been appointed to lead the Derry-Londonderry team. I think Northern Ireland's a fantastic place and it's great that our stopover is one of the last of the race so we have it as a great motivator all the way around."
Derry-Londonderry is one of ten internationally-sponsored entries in Clipper 11-12. They include Singapore, Chinese entry, Qingdao, and De Lage Landen which will race under the Dutch flag. The Clipper Race is the only global ocean race open to everyone, regardless of background and sailing ability and is the longest in the world. Almost 500 people from 40 nationalities and more than 250 different professions will step outside their comfort zone to race a stripped down, 68-foot yacht 40,000 miles around the world.
"I believe the whole concept of the Clipper Race is brilliant," says Mark. "Making ocean sailing accessible to anybody and providing the challenge and platform on which to literally change people's lives is very special."
He continues, "Being able to lead a crew around the world in a yacht race, for me, takes everything to the next level. It will be so satisfying to watch a group of people put together randomly at first, progress with lots of hard work and training and evolve into a highly competitive race team and group of very accomplished offshore sailors. I will be very proud to carry out that job."
Originally from Gloucestershire, Mark now lives on the Isle of Wight and hopes to celebrate his 40th birthday racing a yacht to victory somewhere in the Southern Ocean. Introduced to sailing in his late 20s he learned to sail dinghies on a lake. Once bitten by the sailing bug he took the plunge, left his job as a mechanical and production engineer and studied full time for the sailing qualifications that would allow him to turn his passion into a career. Now an experienced senior instructor with many ocean crossings to his name, he is most looking forward to racing across the Pacific Ocean – and arriving in his team's home port, Derry-Londonderry, at the end of the final transatlantic stage.
"I am looking forward to the whole race as every leg will no doubt bring very different challenges but there are definitely sections I am looking forward to specifically. The leg I am most looking forward to is crossing the greatest ocean on the planet – the mighty Pacific – but the stopover I am looking forward to most is of course, Derry-Londonderry. Sailing down the River Foyle into the heart of the City of Culture to a fabulous reception is going to be unbeatable!"
The Clipper Race celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, the first edition having been run in 1996. It was established by legendary yachtsman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who, in 1969, became the first man to sail solo and non-stop around the world. He wanted to make ocean racing available to everyone, regardless of nationality or background, and since that first race almost 3,000 ordinary people have taken the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone and do something truly extraordinary by taking on nature in the raw and racing around the world under sail. More than 5,000 more have been introduced to sailing through the Clipper Training programme.
Sir Robin comments, "Leading a team in a race around the world is one of the hardest and most challenging jobs that any skipper could ever undertake and we're confident Mark is up to this challenge. He has been through a lengthy and rigorous selection process and we have chosen a group of ten exceptional individuals as our race skippers. They all have the ability to draw the line between competitiveness and safety while, at the same time, motivating the crew to retain their focus during races lasting several weeks at a time, whether it be through roaring gales and towering seas or the frustration of tricky calm spells."
Followers of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race can look forward to some exciting and exhilarating racing when the event gets underway this August. During the 40,000-mile race the fleet will stop at 15 ports around the world before arriving back in the UK in July 2012. For the first time the route includes an extra leg that will take the fleet from the west coast of Australia rounding Cape Leeuwin en route to New Zealand and then on to Australia's east coast.
The search is already underway for suitably qualified men and women to follow in the footsteps of these ten skippers in the next edition of the race which will start in 2013 and will be raced on the brand new fleet of 70-foot yachts that have been specially commissioned. Skippers wishing to register their interest in applying for one of the most prestigious positions in sailing should email [email protected]
An economic impact analysis was carried out by three MBS students from University College Cork (Ger Swayne, Lorcan Daly & Stephen Hicks) which reported an economic impact of €5.6m with accommodation and food and beverage accounting for 65% of the figure. The students worked according to the standard Failte Ireland festival report methodology which includes qualitative and quantitative research.
At today's launch Deputy Mayor Of County Cork Cllr John O Sullivan stated 'the festival gave a great boost to the Kinsale area early in the summer season and it also ensured that works were carried out in the town prior to the event that benefitted both locals and visitors. In particular the refurbishment of the Old Mill as an exhibition venue was a huge new resource for the town.'
The media report was carried out by IFM Sports Marketing Surveys and was commissioned by Clipper Ventures who run the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Global media coverage for the whole race is estimated at over $100m and Cork's share of this is very substantial at $26.5m. These figures are boosted by a Discovery Channel global deal that has been agreed with the TV series producers and Clipper Ventures. An Irish broadcaster for the series will be announced in the coming weeks.
Commenting on today's results, Fiona Buckley, Head of Operations, Fáilte Ireland stated 'from a tourism perspective the media coverage that Kinsale, Cork and the region received through the Clipper project will ensure that Cork is top of mind as a tourism destination in the coming years. In addition the economic report found that 98% of the overseas visitors would return to Cork as a result of the Clipper festival and 97% would recommend Cork to their friends.'
The festival in Kinsale was helped by the arrival of the fleet of 10 Clipper yachts six days ahead of schedule and the fantastic weather during that period. When the yachts moved to the new Port of Cork Marina on 07 July the weather changed dramatically and this had an impact on the attendance figures in the city.
'When the fleet arrived in Cork city there was a crowd of over 10,000 people to welcome the fleet to the new Cork City Marina which was installed to welcome the Race but is also a lasting legacy to marine tourism in the region. We would like to thank the Port of Cork for investing in this new permanent infrastructure with the support of Cork City Council.
This new Marina will play host to other marine events over the coming years.' Stated Lord Mayor Cllr Michael O Connell Clipper Race Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said, "Cork and Kinsale were fantastic hosts, providing marvellous entertainment during
the race festivals in both locations and I am pleased to see that they reaped the rewards. The welcome visitors received will ensure a lasting tourism legacy for years to come. "
The return on investment for the project is estimated at over 300% which is above average for hosting a sporting event of this calibre.
Next year's Irish entry in the Clipper Round the World Race may be named twice according to Lorna Siggins in the Irish Times. The local yacht could bear the name Derry on one side of its bow and Londonderry on the other, as it circumnavigates the globe – to appease all political interests on the river Foyle. More from the Irish Times HERE.
The UK's City of Culture 2013, Derry, has today announced it is to become part of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race with an official city boat in the race. In addition the city will be an official host port, welcoming the ten-strong fleet in July 2012 with a showcase festival at the end of the final transatlantic stage of the 40,000-mile race en route to the race finish.
It will be the first time that Northern Ireland has been represented in the race which attracts a global audience of more than 460 million people.
The potential for the 11-12 entry was developed by Derry City Council with the support of Londonderry Port and Ocean Event Management. It will form an integral part of the campaign to market the city's culture, business and education offerings in a number of the cities on the Clipper 11-12 route. The development of the tourism and international potential for the race and festival has been supported by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
The yacht will be one of ten identical 68-foot ocean racing yachts, each of which is sponsored by a city, region or country to carry their name around the world. Joining the Derry entry will be Uniquely Singapore and the Chinese entry, Qingdao, for whom hosting the Clipper Race was a key step in securing the rights to host the sailing events of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Both sponsors have discovered that the Clipper Race provides a unique platform for delivering global market exposure at local market values.
Derry has a long and illustrious maritime history and a key factor in the city's participation in the race will be to generate cultural and socially inclusive legacy projects for the future.
Mayor Councillor Colum Eastwood, speaking at the launch, said, "We've partnered with Clipper as we believe it provides a world class opportunity to showcase the city internationally while supporting business, education and cultural links ahead of the UK City of Culture 2013. It's an important building block in developing the city's reputation as a location for international events and brings fully into the use the full urban quayside of the River Foyle. This is the catalyst project that will bring together public, private, education, sports and community interests to build a legacy for the maritime, tourism, business and cultural interests of the city."
On board the yacht will be a team of people from all walks of life, many of whom who have never sailed before, who are taking on the challenge of a lifetime. Among them will be crew from a number of other countries but it is hoped that the men and women of Derry will also be inspired to get on board and represent their city on a global stage.
In addition to those people with a thirst for adventure who will race around the world representing the city there are opportunities for local businesses to be part of the event. Teams in previous Clipper Races have helped galvanise the community spirit in their sponsoring city, generating a huge sense of ownership and pride in their achievement.
The Clipper Race was set up by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo, non-stop around the world, in order to give ordinary people the chance to do something truly extraordinary.
Sir Robin says, "We are delighted to welcome on board the UK's first City of Culture, Derry, as a yacht sponsor and host port for the Clipper 11-12 Race. The race offers a unique platform to showcase the city around the world, both for business and tourism. We hope that, as other cities and countries have discovered, participation in the race will enable you to build a unique legacy for the city that will last for years to come.
"We hope people from Derry~Londonderry and across Northern Ireland will sign up to take part in the race and that everyone in the city and, indeed, across the country will get behind the team and support them all the way around the world."
Berths are available for people from Derry~Londonderry to compete in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race and there will be public presentations in the city on 20 and 21 September at City Hotel, Derry.
When Cork, just four nautical miles from the finish line in Ijmuiden, Netherlands, crosses the line, it will allow race organisers officially crown Spirit of Australia as the winning crew, with one short leg to Hull remaining.
The crew, who have been focussed on victory since the start of the race in September 2009, will take to the stage to lift the crystal trophy when the fleet returns to the port this Saturday 17 July.The team’s elated skipper, Brendan Hall, from Brisbane, Queensland, was full of praise for his crew. “Words can’t describe right now,” he said.
“It is amazing! We raced so hard, again our result was not our best but to win a round the world yacht race, how many people can say they’ve done that?“This crew have just worked so well. This has been an amazing leg, just reminiscing about the things we’ve had to do and the times we’ve been through together. It’s been such an experience and these guys are absolute legends. I’ve got the best team, I couldn’t ask for a better one and we’ve done it! The hard work, the sacrifice, the bravery, it’s been extraordinary and I hope credit is heaped on these guys because they deserve it, they really do.
”Last August round the world crew member, Michael Hanssen, from Perth, Western Australia, said as the fleet sailed from Clipper HQ for the race start port of Hull in the north east of England, “Nothing but a win will do.” But for him and some of his team mates, the reality of the victory hasn’t yet sunk in.“It’s a bit surreal at the moment because it’s not the end of the race,” he explains. “The other watch leader and I have been talking about it – we still don’t feel like we’ve won until we step off in Hull. And I think that’s the key for us; we don’t really want to go out and celebrate too much here but deep down inside you know it’s secure. There’s no better feeling than knowing that you’ve already won and you can still go out and compete the next day and have a damn good race and still want to try to take first place. We almost had it here, ran into a bit of trouble and managed to salvage fourth place out of it which was still pretty good for us.”
Team Finland has taken line honours in Race 13, crossing the finish line at Ijmuiden, Netherlands at 2139 local time (1939 UTC). Hull & Humber finished second and Cape Breton Island third, the final, nail-biting run under heavyweight spinnaker going down to the wire as neither team was willing to give any quarter to their opponents.
The big orange boat beat the eagle of Cape Breton to the line by less than two minutes. Both teams could still make the podium in Hull. Spirit of Australia finished a little under five minutes later, followed in quick-fire succession by California, Uniquely Singapore, Qingdao, Jamaica Lightning Bolt and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital. Once again the competition was a tight one with the ten yachts racing close to each other as they hoisted their spinnakers to blast along the south coast of England towards their goal at Ijmuiden, Netherlands.
The first nine boats finished within 91 minutes of each other but, as the fleet is racing under IRC handicap ratings to account for the differences in the smaller and heavier Cork yacht, the results for Race 13 will not be announced until all ten boats have crossed the finish line just outside the Ijmuiden Seaport Marina, where they will be based until the start of the final race on Thursday 15 July, and Cork’s corrected time is calculated.
The Irish team is expected in Ijmuiden early today. Team Finland’s skipper Rob McInally, said, “We’re thrilled. That was a fantastic race; it had everything in it. We were very pleased to win the ocean crossing but this one was a great race and to get another first and to stay a little bit ahead of Cape Breton Island and Jamaica Lightning Bolt is lining us up quite nicely for our podium finish for the overall race.”
Three of Team Finland’s Dutch crew members, Hans Sleutjes, Minke Docter and Frank Gerritsen, were thrilled to win the race to their ‘home’ port – some consolation for the disappointment at Sunday’s World Cup Final result.Working out the mathematical permutations that put Hull & Humber within striking distance of the podium with one race left – Jamaica Lightning Bolt and Cape Breton Island stand in their way – the skipper of the English entry, Justin Taylor, said, “We need them to have a very bad result and we need to win!
We’re almost home, I know it’s a little pit stop here but it does feel very close to home now and I think we’re just warming up for our home port win.”The Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race will finish on Saturday 17 July when all ten yachts will race up the Humber for the homecoming and prize-giving ceremony in Hull Marina. The course of the final race will take them past Bridlington on Friday 16 July and a programme of live entertainment will feature between 4pm and 10pm at the key viewing points of Flamborough Head and Bridlington Spa.
Light winds and a strong tide have forced Cork to anchor in order to avoid being swept backwards, away from the Dutch finish line of the Clipper Round the World Race. Inspite of the set back there are claculations made that Cork, whose crew are racing the shorter, heavier, Challenge 67 as opposed to the Clipper 68s raced by the other nine teams, are in contention for a place on the podium on corrected handicap time.
Wind and tide are a powerful combination and both have played their part in slowing the Clipper 09-10 fleet in their race for the penultimate finish line in their 35,000-mile campaign. Nevertheless another significant milestone has been passed and one that is cause for great celebration as the round the world crew members crossed their outbound track and 'tied the knot' almost ten months since leaving the Humber.
Edinburgh Inspiring Capital's skipper, Matt Pike, describes waiting for the moment on board, saying, "It's hard to think of a more pleasant way of spending a summer Sunday than racing up the Channel under a ballooning spinnaker. That's what we had, back in shorts with a real buzz on deck as to when we would actually cross our outbound track. Tantalisingly close and with a bottle of Benromach 10-year-old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky to mark the occasion, we watched the plotter. Six am was a little early so no problem running a little north parallel to the mark; by lunchtime we were more than ready but still running on a reciprocal course barely half a mile north of the thin red line. California was close and gave us a great reason to raise our game, both boats enjoying such a close sail after so many miles. It finally happened just off Dungeness. We had done it - sailed around the world and opened the Benromach 10-year old to celebrate the moment."
The last 24 hours have demonstrated clearly the forces of nature at work as the Clipper 09-10 fleet races through the English Channel and into the North Sea towards Ijmuiden in The Netherlands.
"Within an hour we were not feeling the benefit of choosing the inshore route as the wind eased away and we were left to the mercy of the tide," continues Matt. "There was a feeling of disappointment in the air as we watched the rest of the fleet sail on past Dover, but in true Edinburgh Inspiring Capital spirit morale stayed high and we reflected on our ten-month odyssey whilst trying to keep California behind us; not easy as they were equally determined to wriggle their way out and around the Dover Straits.
"Well the wind did fill in first from the east, then from the west, followed by a bit of a blow from the south (it's currently northerly) so a busy morning on deck as the wind veers and backs, ranging from three to 43 knots. There is constant activity on deck but even the slickest watch would be hard pushed to keep up with the constant sail changes needed. They do their best and they're good but it is a reminder that the sea is the boss and, in the words of Sir Robin, 'We're not home yet'."
With fewer than 100 miles to the finish of Race 13, never has a statement been so true. The teams are in an extremely busy shipping area at the northerly end of the Dover Traffic Separation Scheme - the equivalent of a six-lane highway where cargo ships, tankers and bulk carriers, some so vast their length shows on AIS in fractions of a mile, plough at great into and out of the English Channel.
Combined with the close racing and the vagaries of the weather, it means there's not much rest for those on board. Justin Taylor, skipper of Hull & Humber is sparing with his words in his 0600 report to the Race Office.
"Been having a real ding dong with several yachts. Ran out of wind off Dover. Electrical storm right now. No sleep yet. Lots of traffic. Zero visibility. But other than that it's all good in the right direction now."
The Hull & Humber team will be hoping orange is a luckier colour for them than it was for the Dutch football team in South Africa last night. A good result on this race will keep them in contention for a place on the final podium when they return home in five days' time.
Despite blowing their medium weight spinnaker yesterday Team Finland is currently leading the race to Ijmuiden and there are three disappointed Dutch crew members on board. Consolation for them will be a home port victory of sorts, if they can maintain their lead and take line honours in the race to Ijmuiden.
The final positions will not be known until all ten boats have completed the race and the IRC handicap rating is applied to the finishing times. Cork, whose crew are racing the shorter, heavier, Challenge 67 as opposed to the Clipper 68s raced by the other nine teams, are in contention for a place on the podium on corrected time. However the current light winds they are experiencing, combined with an adverse tide, have forced the Irish boat to anchor near the Thanet wind farm in order to avoid being swept backwards, away from the finish line.
Such occurrences are rare, the last example was on departure from Qingdao in the Clipper 07-08 race when the entire ten-boat fleet had to anchor overnight in zero wind and a tide that was threatening to sweep them back to the Olympic Sailing Centre they had left just hours earlier.
Wind holes were a feature of the last night, Cape Breton Island's skipper Jan Ridd reporting around 2100 GMT that he and his team were in extremely light and fluky winds which had slowed their charge for the line to a snail's pace.
Pete Rollason, California's skipper, says it's a similar situation on board the American boat, although they are moving again this morning.
"What a race, after a light wind night where the fleet was really being pushed around by the tides and going nowhere fast, the wind has filled in and we are now involved in a tacking battle with the first six boats with only about four miles separating us all. The rain has passed and it looks like it is back to summer. Hopefully if this wind continues we can make Ijmuiden by early evening."
Spirit of Australia's crew are likely to secure overall victory on this race and are edging closer to it all the time. They need just one point to take the title but are still pushing to add another pennant to their already overflowing forestay, although, says skipper Brendan Hall, it's a fine balancing act.
"Close fleet racing is an exciting but nerve wracking time. Fortunes change with every sched. Six hours ago we were in the lead, now we are in sixth. It is very good to know that our overall position does not hinge on the outcome of one of these short races, where nine months of hard work can be undone with one breakage, unlucky decision or wrong sail choice," he says.
The wind is due to fill in a little later today and the first yachts are expected in the Ijmuiden Seaport Marina tonight.
With just 550-miles in which to prove themselves in the short sprintrace to Ijmuiden in The Netherlands, Race 13 promises to be an exciting edge of the seat battle between the ten Clipper teams. The Cork team is now back into the old routine of trying their best to keep their heavier Challenge 67 in touch with the rest of the fleet. Still in with achance of getting an overall podium position as they arrive back intheir home port on 17 July, Hull & Humber has taken one step closer totheir goal by managing to take an early lead. In his report to the race office this morning, the team's skipper, Justin Taylor, explains why hebelieves they have managed to edge ahead.
"We were going to be early for the start so I luffed the boat up head towind to slow right down and, although we managed to hold it for quiteawhile, we inadvertently tacked the yacht and had to start on port tack- heading straight for the rocks at Weaver's Point. Once at full speedwe tacked the yacht on to starboard and crossed the line, not too farbehind the first three yachts. However, we did end up as the windwardyacht with all the advantages this brings and we soon found ourselves in the lead.
"After an early headsail change down to the Yankee 2, we reached thefirst mark of the course in fourth but there was only the width of acigarette paper between us all. All the other yachts were flying theirbig Yankee 1s and our smaller sail plan seemed to pay off as we pulledaway from the fleet. An early reef to the main only seemed to increaseour speed and pointing ability. The crew have been great at adding smallgains to small gains and we now find ourselves approximately three milesahead of the nearest yacht.
"Unfortunately, we will be rounding Land's End on a foul tide and how wenegotiate that will either see our lead increase or diminish."
Although the Irish coastline has now disappeared over the horizon, fondmemories of their recent stopover in Kinsale and Cork will remain with all the teams, none more so than with the crew of the local entry.
"What an amazing reception we received in both Kinsale and the City of Cork, a huge thank you to all for making us feel so welcome andextending us such enjoyable hospitality," says Cork's skipper HannahJenner. "The crew are now getting back into life aboard - life at anangle, which is not something we have experienced in a while, at leastnot sober anyway! We are making good speeds towards Lands End at themoment which we hope to round in the morning and back into the tacticalwaters of the English Channel."
Having enjoyed the pursuit race format across the Atlantic, the Cork team is now back into the old routine of trying their best to keep their heavier Challenge 67 in touch with the rest of the fleet. "Let's hopethe forecast for light winds along the south coast of the UK is wrong!"says Hannah, knowing full well from their recent Atlantic leg that Cork performs best in stronger conditions.
The short race course through the English Channel means that all thecrews will have to keep on their toes - there will be no time to recoverfrom mistakes and sail damage is something they can ill afford. With somany boats in close proximity and the competition fierce it's easy tosee how mistakes could be made.
California's skipper, Pete Rollason, says, "Since our departureyesterday evening, the racing has been very tight, as you would expect,and as we approach the Scilly Isles we have eight other boats in sightof us. The crew have been working incredibly hard in some lively weatherconditions to pull us up to third or fourth place which will set us upnicely for the entrance to the English Channel and hopefully a nicesunshine filled run down these familiar waters."
With Clipper's UK training base located in Gosport on the south coast,the waters of the English Channel are well-known to all the teams and itwon't be long before the familiar coastline comes into sight as theyround the southern tip of Cornwall.
"As dawn breaks now we find ourselves back in UK waters with theexciting prospect of glimpsing the green and pleasant land soon afterbreakfast," says Qingdao's skipper, Chris Stanmore-Major. "It is odd tobe back in an area that is so familiar to many of us after circling theglobe these past ten months - I could barely believe my ears when Iheard Falmouth Coastguard providing the weather update. Land's End andthe turn into the English Channel is our immediate goal and we feel wellplaced to make a good showing in this race. Can we beat our short racecurse? I assure you there are 16 people out here trying very hard to."
Meanwhile, on board Uniquely Singapore there is also a crew tryingequally hard - especially as there are only two points separating theteam from their Asian rivals on the overall leaderboard.
Skipper, Jim Dobie, says, "Straight into it and what a night with asteady Force 6 or so - good boat speed but a little unusual as its beena while since we have sailed upwind. It was with very sad hearts as weleft Cork and Kinsale as the crew had had such a fantastic time with thegreat food, the hospitality and of course the partying. But we are nowfirmly focussed on the rest of the race and gain as many points as wecan. We're currently in sixth place with Qingdao just behind us and Hull& Humber still beatable - it makes these last two races as important asever."
In wet and overcast conditions with a breeze of 15 knots from the south, the fleet got off to a flying start. Uniquely Singapore was first to cross the start line, closely followed by Spirit of Australia, whose crew has vowed to race hard for another podium finish, despite needing just one more point to clinch overall victory. Cape Breton Island was just a couple of boat lengths behind them, as Hull & Humber, Jamaica Lightning Bolt, California, Team Finland, Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, Qingdao and Cork began the long beat towards the Land's End and the Scilly Isles, where they will turn into the familiar waters of the English Channel.
Earlier thousands of people turned out in Cork to bid farewell to the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race fleet.
Cork sails away from home tonight on the penulitmate leg of its round the world journey
The departure ceremony got underway with a rousing performance by the Band of the 1st Southern Command on the main stage before the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Michael O'Connell officially said goodbye on behalf of the city.
"The rain has never dampened the spirit of Cork people before and it certainly won't dampen us today. We're all absolutely delighted that the race and the boats have brought so much happiness to the people of Cork over the last days. If you saw them in their full sail as they came up the river the other day it was absolutely outstanding. I'm sure that the people of Cork will wish them well on their journey to Holland and to the finish next week in Hull. It has been an absolutely tremendous time here in the city.
"We would like to say thanks to our Cork boat and skipper Hannah Jenner – they have given us enormous pride since they arrived here and over the last couple of months as well. We wish them very well now on their voyage over to Holland over the next couple of days.
"And I want to thank everybody for coming down here today for giving such a massive send off."
On stage Cork skipper Hannah Jenner recalled the welcome the team received arriving in Kinsale 12 days ago. "It has been one of the best moments of my sailing career to get such support from everybody and it has continued here into Cork City, so let's hope we can get a good result in the next two races. We have had a brilliant time and I know that all of us and our friends and families who came to visit will be back in our own time in the future to continue to enjoy such a great city."
Spirit of Australia is likely to secure the Clipper 09-10 title on this race and Brendan Hall, skipper of the Australian entry, says they're going to be racing as hard as ever.
"We've got our eye on the major prize in Hull. I've talked with the team and we've decided these last two races we're not strictly racing for points because we don't need a huge number of them anymore but we're doing it for pride. We're doing it because we want to finish this race in the style we started it and we're going to be putting it all in so we can look at ourselves in the mirror at the end and say we couldn't have done anything more."
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.
45,000 people attended the festival in Kinsale last weekend and tens of thousands more have visited the Cork Clipper Festival over the last three, enjoying the food and culture of Ireland's gourmet capital and the craic of the city named by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten in the world to visit.
As he prepared to leave the dockside, Brendan said, "I loved Kinsale, it was a really friendly, warm welcome and Cork has been an amazing party as well – it's a shame we didn't have a little longer here but Holland calls."
The race to Ijmuiden is expected to take three to four days and the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race will finish on the Humber on Saturday 17 July.
In this week's podcast, you could win one of two spaces on one of the Clipper Yachts for the sail from Kinsale to Cork this Wednesday. Plus we talk to the young guns from Schull Community College and the Pride of Wicklow about their victories in recent days.