Published: Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race bid farewell to Australia as Leg 5 starts for its first stopover in Vietnam.

Clipper Race Departs For Da Nang Vietnam 2

The 6,985-nautical-mile Asia-Pacific leg of the race comprises two races. The first will finish in Da Nang, Vietnam and the second will finish in the Olympic sailing city of Qingdao, China.

The first 4,310nm race has now started 100nm from Airlie Beach.

Ahead of leaving her homeland for the final time in this race, Australian Skipper Wendy Tuck, who leads the seventh place Da Nang – Viet Nam team, says: “It has been the greatest time being back racing in Australia and we have enjoyed our best results yet here, but the excitement continues as everyone has been looking forward to arriving in Da Nang since we left London four months ago.”

“We’ve had excellent support from the people of Da Nang along the way and we know there is a huge welcome waiting for us and the entire fleet so we can’t wait to arrive and finally experience their great hospitality and culture.”

Skipper Olivier Cardin, who leads first overall placed team LMAX Exchange, says: “One of the challenges on this race will be getting through the Doldrum passage as quickly as we can and trying to get back into the trade winds. We hope to be leading the fleet by this point.”

Clipper Race Departs For Da Nang Vietnam 1

“We know how to be fast and we’ll continue to work on that," continues Cardin. "The race is getting closer and closer with GREAT Britain and the other teams, such as Garmin, Derry~Londonderry~Doire, and now Da Nang - Viet Nam are pushing us harder all the time so we have to focus hard on our performance. We don’t take anything for granted.”

Ahead of starting the race, which will take three to four weeks to complete, the Da Nang – Viet Nam team led the fleet out as it performed a parade of sail out of the Whitsunday Islands, surrounded by dozens of local spectator boats who joined the teams on the water to wish them well in their next challenge.

The Clipper Race fleet will cross the Equator for the second time since leaving London during Leg 5.

This race will test the navigation skills of the teams as they try to work out the best route through the remote communities in Papua New Guinea and into the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

On the approach to Vietnam, the fleet will take advantage of the northeast monsoon winds. Spinnakers will be hoisted as the teams charge towards an impressive, highly anticipated welcome in Da Nang where a series of celebrations and festivals are planned for the crew.

The departure to Da Nang marks the end of the all-Australian Leg, which started in Albany in November and included the challenging Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Clipper Race Departs For Da Nang Vietnam

(Da Nang – Vietnam crew)

Since leaving London in August, the Clipper Race fleet has completed 18,000 of its 40,000nm circumnavigation. The fleet is expected to arrive in Da Nang between February 17-21.