Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2022 One Design LEADERBOARD

Newcastle plans rockstar welcome for Clipper stopover

by Mark Rothfield 12 Dec 2023 06:46 GMT
Clipper Race Dare to Lead © Clipper Race

Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club (NCYC) will be pulling out all the stops to ensure its 2023-24 Clipper Round the World stopover will be memorable for crews, supporters and spectators alike when the fleet arrives in early January.

Australia gets three bites of the cherry with the endurance race, Fremantle and Airlie Beach also gaining hosting rights, however it's the biggest international yachting event to visit NSW's second largest city.

Over 200 competitors, along with officials, family members and sponsors, will be warmly welcomed by the club, with the arrival window predicted to be January 1-4. They will enjoy an Outriggers Day, Historical Tours, Food and Wine tours and the chance to go surfing. As part of their environmental commitment the crews will undertake a clean-up of the harbour foreshore.

Activities will be centred in a marquee at NCYC, right on Newcastle Harbour and in front of the berths. Community members from far and wide will be encouraged to visit a 'FanZone' on January 6-7 where they can inspect the boats and learn about the event.

TrySailing days and demonstrations will be conducted, and stopover supporter City of Newcastle will operate a Visitor Information Booth from January 3-10.

The 11 race syndicates are currently completing the challenging 5500nm (8900km) Cape Town-Fremantle leg, three yachts having already finished.

Leg 4 will start on December 19 and take them across the Great Australian Bight, dipping below the 40th Parallel, before rounding the southern tip of Tasmania and heading to Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club. At approximately 2900nm, the distance is more than four times longer than the Sydney Hobart.

The teams will also have time to rest and prepare for the January 10 in-harbour restart, bound for the Whitsundays then Vietnam and China beyond that. Each yacht will be assigned two volunteers to serve as their local concierge, helping them source provisions, effect repairs and be the first point of contact during the visit.

Newcastle yachtswoman Bronwen Crosby will be an interested spectator as she prepares to join the Zhuhai entry for the Whitsundays to Vietnam-China leg. A graduate of NCYC's sail training academy and the She Sails program, Bronwen completed her obligatory month-long training in the UK prior to the start. It will be her longest offshore race to date.

"I've done lots of hikes, climbed Kilimanjaro, so this will be another great adventure," she says.

At a record-breaking 40,000nm (74,080km) the Clipper Race is one of the toughest aquatic marathons in the world, especially since the crews are amateurs who pay for the experience aboard the 70ft ocean racing yachts.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, a two-time winner of Australian Sailing's Club of the Year award, is no stranger to hosting major events. In April its annual SailFest Newcastle Regatta will incorporate the 2024 Australian Yachting Championships - the second time the club has staged the national title.

The Clipper Round the World Race, however, has a huge global following that will put Newcastle Harbour on the international sporting map. The Race restart is scheduled for January 10 at 3pm off Queens Wharf inside the Harbour, with the Fort Scratchley cannon to thunderously fire.

Details at www.clipperroundtheworld.com.

Related Articles

Wet & wild end to huge Sail Port Stephens regatta
11 huge days of sailing, spanning three weeks and involving 215 boats Sail Port Stephens 2024 has wrapped up after 11 huge days of sailing, spanning three weeks and involving 215 boats. It culminated yesterday with the inshore Bay Series comprising J70s, sports boats and off-the-beach classes. Posted on 6 May
Sail Port Stephens Windward-Leeward Series overall
State titles were one for the ages Age has not wearied two veterans of Australian sailing, with Marcus Blackmore and Ray Roberts claiming prestigious NSW IRC titles at the Sail Port Stephens Windward-Leeward Series over the weekend. Posted on 29 Apr
Matador takes third Pallas Capital Gold Cup Act
The Australian TP52 fleet returned to action at Sail Port Stephens The Australian TP52 fleet returned to action at Sail Port Stephens for Act 3 of the Pallas Capital Gold Cup. Eleven boats took to the waters surrounding Nelson Bay and completed the series of six races. Posted on 28 Apr
Sail Port Stephens Windward-Leeward Series Day 2
Light-air specialists have their day in the sun The Sail Port Stephens Windward-Leeward Series transitioned to Passage Race mode today, and with the change of pace came a change of pace, literally, as both the wind and seas calmed considerably. Posted on 27 Apr
Swell start to SPS windward-leeward series
Action-packed opener for Part II of Sail Port Stephens with large swells adding to it all Rock fishermen were being advised to stay indoors but the sea conditions off Port Stephens made for an action-packed opener to the Anchorage Marina Windward-Leeward Series, part 2 of the 2024 Sail Port Stephens Regatta Series. Posted on 27 Apr
Sail Port Stephens Passage Series overall
Paths to glory converge in the rain for winners With only a few points separating rivals across each of the five divisions contesting the Sail Port Stephens Passage Series, the prospect of receiving a thorough rinsing in the rain didn't deter the bulk of the 115-strong fleet from turning out. Posted on 21 Apr
Sail Port Stephens Passage Series Day 4
Down to the wire on a sparkling day "Sheer enjoyment". That's how Nicky Bethwaite summed-up her experience of the combination inshore/offshore course set by the Race Committee for the fourth race of the five race Passage Series. Posted on 19 Apr
Sail Port Stephens Passage Series Day 3
Getting into the groove toward sailing perfection By day three in regattas the cobwebs have been shaken-off, the crew dynamics are coming together and the muscle memory of putting-in an optimum tack or bear-away set should be kicking in. Posted on 18 Apr
Sail Port Stephens Passage Series Day 2
Island views, balmy sunshine and sublime sailing conditions The best aspects of regatta sailing crystallised for the record fleet contesting the second day of the Passage Series (Commodores Cup). It turned-out to be a highly memorable day of threading out through the Port Stephens Heads. Posted on 16 Apr
Sail Port Stephens Passage Series Day 1
Light-air lottery for opener The delightful unpredictability of yacht racing in light airs ensured a nail-biting opening day for crews aboard the record fleet of 115 boats assembled for the Sail Port Stephens Passage Series (Commodores Cup). Posted on 15 Apr