Visit Finland is one of ten Clipper Yachts in the 2011-2012 Round the World Yacht Race. Visit Finland was the winner of the latest stretch to the Australian Gold Coast. But currently, the Finnish entry is at the back of the field struggling to get north and around Papua New Guinea.
The goal is Singapore. The expected date of arrival is 28 January 2012.
The race track from the Autralian Gold Coast to Singapore is one of the most testing stretches of the whole Clipper Race as both skippers and crews will be pushed to their mental and physical limits. There are many hazards on this race, both geographical and meteorological, which may force the race management to break it into two separate races or suspend racing so that the yachts can safely navigate certain areas.
The route will see the teams cover more than 4,700nm on the race to Singapore and has been selected so that the teams spend the shortest time possible in the area affected by tropical storms and cyclones.
The predicted winds after leaving the Gold Coast will see the teams make good progress for the first 1,000nm north up to the Solomon Sea and Papua New Guinea (PNG). After crossing the Equator the teams are required to sail north of PNG; the trick here will be to get into the steady northern hemisphere trade winds which will see the teams continue a few miles north before shaping their course to the east and covering a further 2,000nm of the Pacific Ocean towards the Philippines.
The teams will sail south of Mindanao and Palawan Islands through the Celebes and Sulu Seas. The crews will have to cope with light winds and hot tropical weather with extremely high humidity as they negotiate their way through the islands.
Eventually they turn south west, picking up the northerly monsoon winds for the final 800nm run in to the finish of Race 7 which is in the Singapore Straits.
The whole fleet will rendezvous on the Indonesian island of Batam which will give the crews some well earned R&R, and finally a colourful and warm welcome awaits the Clipper Race in Singapore, where the yachts will be welcomed to the spectacular Marina at Keppel Bay on 28 January 2012.
You can follow the boats in real time online here (pretty cool!):
The Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race started from the UK in August 2011 when the fleet of ten sleek, stripped down 68-foot yachts embarked on their full circumnavigation of the globe.
It’s not easy and the crews are handpicked to be only those with a firm desire to live life to the full. They come from all walks of life, all backgrounds and from all corners of the globe. It’s the only race in the world where the organisers supply the fleet of ten identical, 68-foot, stripped down racing yachts – each sponsored by a city, a region or a country – and man them with ten fully trained skippers, employed to lead the crews safely around the planet.
It’s the only race in the world where taxi drivers rub shoulders with chief executives, vicars mix with housewives, students work alongside bankers, nurses work with vets and doctors team up with rugby players. It’s an experience that will change people’s lives and while the crew members may be amateur, no one has told the ocean that. The sea does not distinguish between Olympians or novices and if the Southern Ocean, the Pacific or the South Atlantic decides to throw down its gauntlet, the Clipper crews need to be ready to face exactly the same challenges as those experienced by the professional racer.
The race track is 40,000 miles long and it will take eleven months to complete the circumnavigation. The race is divided in to a series of eight legs and crews can decide to race one of them, select a combination of legs or sign up to become a round the world crew member and complete the full circumnavigation.
There are 15 individual races in total and, just like in Formula 1, points are awarded at the end of each race, building towards a championship total. It means that you can put a poor result behind you and head to the start of the next race with the possibility of gaining maximum points as you lead the field in.
The race adventure started from the UK in August 2011. From there they crossed the Atlantic Ocean, the South Atlantic. They are now in the Southern Ocean, on their way to the Java and South China Seas. Ahead of them is still the mighty Pacific. It will deliver two of the three great capes – Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin.
With all boats identical and budgets equal, no one has a head start. It’s the ultimate long distance match race and the winners are those who keep their focus the longest.