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Sailing - 08. April 2008.

Race 8 of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race gets underway


 
Ala Wai Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii
 
Race 8 in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race series is underway after a start in a stiff breeze off the island of Oahu in Hawaii.

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The crew of New York ahead of the start of Race 8 from Hawaii to Santa Cruz in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race photo Douglas Peebles onEdition

 
Nova Scotia was the first of eight internationally-backed yachts to cross the start line at the western end of the world-famous Waikiki Beach, before racing along the shore towards Diamond Head and out into the Pacific Ocean at the beginning of the 2,080-mile race to Santa Cruz, California. Durban 2010 and Beyond and westernaustralia2011.com did not make the start line as work continues on their new masts.

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credit: Douglas Peebles/onEdition
The crew of Uniquely Singapore ahead of the start of Race 8 from Hawaii to Santa Cruz in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race.


 
The Canadian entry was across the start line by Uniquely Singapore and Jamaica, the only yacht to start on a starboard tack, and Qingdao who squeezed out rivals Hull & Humber forcing them round again. New York, Liverpool 08, Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper and Hull & Humber completed the order over the line, approximately two minutes after the start horn was sounded at 1130 local (2130 GMT).


 
The start was postponed 30 minutes from the advertised time due to a final rig inspection and a new gas sensor being fitted on Hull & Humber.
 
The crews have had a longer than expected stopover in Honolulu after race organiser, Clipper Ventures, took the decision to replace some rigging fittings across the rest of the fleet following the dismasting of two yachts, westernaustralia2011.com and Durban 2010 and Beyond, during the Pacific Ocean race from Qingdao, China. The work was completed yesterday and all eight teams headed out of the Ala Wai Harbor for short test sails to check their rigs and to get back into an ocean racing frame of mind.
 
Having been surfing, diving, shopping, climbing Diamond Head, flying Maui and to the Big Island to witness the volcanic activity there, the crews have taken advantage of all Oahu and the Neighbour Islands have to offer. They said their farewells and mahalo, (Hawaiian for ‘thank you’) to their hosts, Hawaii Yacht Club, Waikiki Yacht Club and Magic Island Fuel Dock, for the aloha they received during their stay in the Ala Wai. There were tears from the staff at the Fuel Dock as the yachts slipped their moorings and headed out of the harbour to the start line.
 
Nova Scotia skipper, Rob McInally, said, “I don’t think anyone wants to leave here but we do have to crack on. I think the race to Santa Cruz is going to be a very close one. We’ve had a fantastic time here and it’s going to be tough leaving.”
 
Race Director Joff Bailey says, “It’s great to see these yachts racing again. The entire Clipper team both here and back home in the UK has worked flat out to get them back to sea within the delay we announced when they arrived here. Our thanks goes to the manufacturers who delivered the new parts to us within such a tight timeframe and to the specialist riggers and mast builder who have flown out to work with our own highly skilled maintenance team to ensure we succeeded.”
 
Waikiki Yacht Club and Hawaii Yacht Club’s Commodores, Michael Roth and Frank E. Lang, respectively, assisted the Race Director for this morning’s start.
 
Joff says, “My sincere appreciation goes to Waikiki Yacht Club and Hawaii Yacht Club who provided boats for the race officials and media team during the start, in particular Principal Race Officer Ted Miller and 5-year-old Maxwell Roth, the Commodore’s son, who sounded the start horn.”
 
Clipper Race founder and legendary solo sailor, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston says, “We expect the race to Santa Cruz to take about 14 days so the ETA is 19 April. We are asking all Leg 6 crew to be available in Santa Cruz for a crew changeover on or before 1000 local time on 21 April. The actual re-start date will depend upon the arrival date and the race duration but is likely to be 23 April. The Santa Cruz stopover will be no longer than 5 days.
 
“Of course, the times are weather dependent. The boats need to get north out of the easterly trade winds which means crossing the variables to get into the westerly trades, then it is a spinnaker run to California. The extent of the variables is, well, variable! Our plan remains to try to get back on schedule for departure from Jamaica.”
 
Durban 2010 and Beyond followed the eight yachts out of the Ala Wai to wave farewell to the teams who set off on Race 8 this morning. Watching from the quayside was westernaustralia2011.com’s skipper Martin Silk along with several of his crew. Round the worlder, John Kimber said, “This is weird, watching them go and being left behind.”
 
Progress on the masts has been excellent and the shipment containing the spreaders arrived yesterday. The team will work through the weekend to ensure the task of getting westernaustralia2011.com and Durban 2010 and Beyond on their way to Santa Cruz is completed as quickly as possible.
 
This is the sixth edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who wanted to give ordinary people access to the exhilaration of ocean racing. Ten months after they set off, at the end of their 35,000-mile circumnavigation, the teams will arrive back in Liverpool, England, on 5 July 2008 during the city’s European Capital of Culture 2008 celebrations.
 
The welcome in Hawaii has been enthusiastic and there will undoubtedly be many more people following the race on www.clipperroundtheworld.com <http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/> where the yachts’ positions are updated every six hours and where visitors to the site can feel they are part of the challenge of a lifetime by reading the blogs and watching the videos sent back by the crews during the race.
 
Berths are now available for the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race. For more information on applying to become a crew member email oceanracer@clipperroundtheworld.com call the Crew Recruitment Manager on +44 (0) 2392 526000. The Clipper Race is open to anyone over the age of 18 and there is no upper age limit.
 
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