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Bristol Clipper wins Leg 2 of Times Clipper 2000

Author: Sue Warden-Owen



Bristol Clipper, the city's 60-foot entry in The Times Clipper 2000 Round The World Yacht Race, won Race 3 at 20:35 GMT on Thursday 7th December. The challenging 1076 nautical mile sprint from Cuba to Colon (Panama) saw Bristol Clipper claim its second victory of the eleven month
circumnavigation at the approaches to the Atlantic entrance of the Panama
Canal at the port of Colon, ahead of her seven rival yachts, each sponsored
by UK cities including Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Plymouth,
Portsmouth and the island of Jersey.

Earlier today on his arrival at Colon, Bob Beggs, skipper of Bristol Clipper
commented, "This is a great result, especially as the racing has been so
close. We set sail from Cuba determined to improve on our 4th place result
on Race 2 and I know I speak for everyone aboard Bristol Clipper when I say
that we're delighted to be back on winning form."

The fleet set sail on the second leg from Cuba to Hawaii, covering a
distance of 6100 miles, on Friday 1st December in perfect conditions which
saw the crews blessed with sunshine and 25 knots of East North-Easterly
breeze. In contrast, treacherous conditions characterized by calms
interspaced with strong squalls from any direction kept the crews on their
toes as Race 3 progressed. Torrential rain accompanied these very localized
winds and virtually all of the boats reported some spinnaker damage on the
race to Panama.

Stuart Jenkins and the crew on Liverpool Clipper gained 7 valuable points
for their second place on Race 3 having crossed the finish line at 21:11
GMT, a mere 36 minutes behind the Bristol crew, who also won Race 1 from
Portsmouth to the Algarve. Placed at 16/1 to win the race to Panama and
33/1 to win the overall circumnavigation, Liverpool Clipper's result will
have come as a surprise to Ladbrokes, the official bookmaker of The Times
Clipper 2000, following two consecutive last places for the Liverpool team
on leg 1. Heading more to the south in the early stages of race 3 certainly
paid off for Liverpool Clipper as a better wind angle provided the 60ft
yacht with slightly higher boat speed than her rivals.

London Clipper, having led the fleet less than 24 hours previously, finished
3rd at 0301 GMT this morning, Friday 8th December. Whilst Bob Beggs and the
crew on Bristol Clipper will be celebrating their return to form, Stuart
Gibson and his London Clipper crew will be more than pleased with their
continued delivery of consistently good results. London Clipper's results
to date give them 17 points and a strong overall position within the fleet,
proving that consistency is key to success in The Times Clipper 2000 series
of 16 races.

Plymouth Clipper heads the remainder of the fleet, 80 miles to the North
West, although at present speeds the Plymouth crew, who were victorious in
the previous race to Cuba, are still a good day from finishing Race 3.
Behind Plymouth Clipper, Jersey and Portsmouth Clippers have clocked-up 12
hour runs of 5 and 6 nautical miles respectively, distances which would have
seemed feasible in 30 minutes not so long ago. As Glasgow and Leeds
Clippers continue to make progress, we shall see this afternoon if they are
able to creep past the two boats ahead, or whether they too will encounter
the same wind hole.

Following Race 3, the yachts will transit the Panama Canal, travelling
alongside tankers and bulk carriers, before a 2-day stopover visit to
Balboa. Race 4, an 855 nautical mile race from Panama (Balboa) to Galapagos
(Isla Santa Cruz), will start on Friday 15th December. Christmas is then
spent in the Galapagos Islands where Dr Charles Darwin formulated his theory
of evolution and crews celebrate the New Year whilst charging across the
eastern Pacific Ocean to Hawaii on Race 5, the longest single stretch of the
whole circumnavigation.

The yachts are expected to arrive in Hawaii at the end of the second leg
around 21st January 2001, when some of the crews will again change. The
fleet will then face a 4000 mile crossing to Japan and race onto China,
Mauritius, Cape Town, Brazil and New York before the final Atlantic crossing
to Jersey. A short sprint back to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth will ensure a
close and exciting race finish, with an expected arrival date of 21st
September 2001.

Crew applications are already underway for the next race to be run by
Clipper Ventures Plc, the 'Clipper 2002 Round The World Yacht Race' starting
from the UK in October 2002. For further information or to sign-up for
Clipper 2002 please telephone 023 8023 7088 or visit

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