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by on 2 Oct 2000
The Times Clipper 2000 Round The World Yacht Race

The eight-strong fleet of identical 60ft yachts, competing in this year's
prestigious Times Clipper 2000 Round The World Yacht Race are set to sail
out of Port Solent, Portsmouth on Sunday 15th October from 0800 onwards for
the official race start at 12 noon off Southsea Castle, Portsmouth. The
weekend of waterside celebrations for the race start, 13th - 15th October,
will include an air display, live music, street entertainment, kite surfing,
and a free-style windsurfing and power boat display.

Crews racing aboard the yachts, each sponsored by a UK city, will be tested
to the limit as they battle for the right to win The Times Trophy during the
challenging eleven-month circumnavigation, which will finish in Gunwharf
Quays, Portsmouth, in September 2001. Strong competition is expected
amongst the rival yachts, namely: Bristol Clipper, Glasgow Clipper, Jersey
Clipper, Leeds Clipper, Liverpool Clipper, London Clipper, Plymouth Clipper
and Portsmouth Clipper.

250 crewmembers from the UK and overseas have signed up for The Times
Clipper 2000, which will build upon the challenging and close racing that
the Clipper '96 and Clipper '98 crews experienced as they followed a similar
route around the globe. Not only will the crewmembers experience the
adventure of a lifetime, they will also individually raise money with every
mile of their journey for The Philip Green Memorial Trust for sick and
disabled children - the official charity for The Times Clipper 2000. Funds
raised will go towards the construction of London's first children's

The yachts will be racing fast and furiously along a predominately downwind
route that follows the tradewinds and passes through some of the classic
yacht racing territories. The first leg takes the crews from the oncoming
winter in Europe on a classic Trans Atlantic Race to Cuba, via Vilamoura,
Portugal. At Cuba, some of the crewmembers will change, before the fleet
then race on the second leg down to transit the Panama Canal. After passing
through the Panama Canal, the fleet leave Balbao for Christmas in the
Galapagos Islands where Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution,
followed by a race across the eastern Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, the longest
single stretch of the whole circumnavigation.

Almost 4,000 miles separate Hawaii from Japan on leg 3 of the race and the
yachts are expected to cover over 200 miles each day until they reach the
Bayside Marina in Yokohama, a short train ride from Tokyo. The stopover
here allows time to explore the country and see Mount Fujyama before
commencing racing for the destination of the Yangtze River. The yachts
motor in convoy up this busy waterway to Shanghai. A further rest here
allows the crews to visit the Great Wall of China or the Terra Cotta Army
before sailing through the Taiwan Strait for Hong Kong, the halfway point of
The Times Clipper 2000.

Amongst the exciting changes introduced to The Times Clipper 2000 is the San
Fernando Race, which will take place on 12th April 2001. The 480 nautical
mile offshore race across the South China Sea from Hong Kong to San Fernando
La Union in the Philippines, is organised by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club
and sanctioned by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC). Dropping down to
Singapore for a 7-day stopover, the fourth leg will finish in Mauritius on
26th May 2001.

Crews competing on leg 5 of The Times Clipper 2000 will sail around one of
the World's great Capes, the Cape of Good Hope. The fleet races from
Mauritius to Cape Town, otherwise known as the Tavern of the Seas, before
embarking on the crossing of the Southern Atlantic to the port of Salvador
in Brazil. Leaving Salvador, the sixth and final leg of the race will see
the yachts head north to a newly introduced stopover in New York. Having
raced to the United States from Salvador in Brazil, the eight-strong fleet
will arrive at Liberty Landing Marina on Wednesday 22nd August 2001, where
crews will delight at the sensational view of Manhattan during a 9-day
stopover. The New York stopover will include a Prize Giving ceremony, a
Corporate Regatta and a Crew Party, before the fleet race to the penultimate
stopover in the beautiful Channel Island of Jersey.

The racing is fast but although boat speed is important, the big gains are
made by taking the right tactical decisions. To ensure a close and exciting
finish the fleet will also enjoy a high-profile event schedule during the
3-day race stopover in Jersey, before the final sprint to the homecoming
celebrations at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, on 21st September 2001.

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