Clipper Race: Surfing giant waves off Portugal

The 11 Clipper Race teams in the Clipper Round the World Race enjoyed a real thrill-ride during the fifth day of racing as they zoomed through the start of the Ocean Sprint, with wind speeds of over 40 knots and a swell of over 4 meters.

Conditions made for some of the most exhilarating downwind rides that the professional skippers and their non-professional crews alike have faced.

“Surfing at constant 25 knots for some time was some of the best sailing I've done, ever,”
Chris Books, the skipper of Qingdao said.

The race set sail from St Katharine Docks, London last week, and is due to call into Portimão, Portugal, from Sunday 8 September. From there, teams will face the first ocean crossing as they head for Punta del Este, Uruguay.

The 11-month event is unique in that it trains ordinary people to race across oceans. 40 percent of the crew had never sailed before signing up for the four week intensive and rigorous training program.

This year, the crews, who range from 18-76 years old, have professions such as hairdresser, roofer, chiropractor, farmer, safari leader and teacher.

The Clipper 2019-20 Race Crew will be the most global ever, made up of 43 nationalities with first time participation of crew from Tanzania, Nigeria, Morocco, Martinique, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and Egypt.

Track the fleet:


JPK August 2023
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JPK August 2023