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Clipper Race Catches Its Breath

The 11-boat Clipper Race surfed into Portimão on the south coast of Portugal on September 9. Punta del Este took line honors after racing 1,200 miles, arriving at 00:45:22 UTC.

Punta del Este
Punta del Este, the Uruguay-flagged entry in the Clipper Race, won Leg 1.
© 2019 Clipper Race

The race started on September 1 from London. The 70-ft monohulls handled conditions from a tough beat upwind to surfing downwind during an ocean-sprint thrill ride on an exhilarating sea swell of over 13 feet. Breeze ranged from gale force winds, squalls and gusts up to 40 knots to the flat calm of the final day.

Big seas
A mountain of water looms over race entry Halong Bay Vietnam in Leg 1 of the 2019/20 Clipper Round the World Race.
© 2019 Halong Bay Vietnam

At the awards ceremony, event founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston commented, “We gave you this short race to realise what you have taken on.”

Celebrating crew
The joyous first-to-finish crew arrived in the middle of the night.
© 2019 Clipper Race

On Sunday, the fleet will catch a ride on the Atlantic trade winds to Punta del Este, Uruguay. As in the last edition, the stops along the circumnavigation will include ports in Seattle and New York City. Learn more at

Harmon Shragge of San Francisco will join Leg 2 from Punta del Este to Cape Town, South Africa. Regular readers may recall his adventures in the previous edition of the pay-to-play event. We’re looking forward to hearing reports from him again. Any other West Coast sailors participating? If so, email Latitude’s racing editor.


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