Clipper Race fleet departs Seattle

Seattle bids farewell to the Clipper Race fleet as it departs for the start of Race 11: #StayConnected with SENA. With a 4,200 nautical mile race ahead along the west coast of North America to Panama, a large crowd turned out to support the eleven teams as they embarked on the first race of Leg 7: the US Coast-to-Coast Leg.

Image: Fleet leaves Seattle

The stop in Seattle saw one of the biggest crew changes of the edition as the circumnavigation enters its final quarter. As yachts saw a turnover of nearly all their moorings, there was a buzz of fresh-faced crew members, excited and ready to join the rest of their teammates, rejuvenated after an incredible stopover in Washington State.

One of many new participants, Alan Thompson, who has joined Zhuhai for Legs 7 and 8 is excited to get started. He says: “I don’t feel 100% prepared, but I probably never would be! I’m just excited to get started now, really excited about all the things I’m going to see and the relationships I’m going to build with the crew.

“The word I keep hearing from other people who have done this is brutal, the queuing systems, the lack of sleep and all the things that are hard work. I think I will become a stronger person and find levels of resilience that I haven’t had to tap into before.”

When they first put on their Musto Team Kit it was a perfect occasion, with the city skyline as the backdrop to celebrate the occasion with an incredible photo of the whole team. Before making their way from a huge crew photo overlooking the waterfront to the harbour, the teams paraded through supporters along the waterfront to board their yacht, enjoying their final moments on land in the sun for what was to come the hand could be. three and a half weeks at sea.

Image: Supporters on the pontoon wave goodbye to their teams

The crew was joined at the dock by representatives from the Seattle Sports Commission, whose continued support has brought the Clipper Race to the city for four editions.

About the upcoming race, Qingdao Ambassador and circumnavigator Ziqi Wang said: “To be honest, we are three-quarters of the way around the world, but I don’t believe it. I remember leaving Portsmouth, everything feels like yesterday and now we are almost back, but there is still plenty of adventure ahead.

“Everyone feels very happy and the mood is definitely high on board Qingdao. We would love to win the next race, but it’s not that easy. The weather will be quite dynamic, so anything can happen. We will continue to push the boat but stay safe and we will see how it goes.”

Image: Qingdao departs from Seattle – Ziqi on the right

The first to slip was Perseverance, who led the fleet into the bay and Puget Sound for the Parade of Sail. Three ambassadors joined the Perseverance team for this leg. One of the new Ambassadors, Maaike de Boer, said: “I feel very good, I am completely ready, I just want to start now.

“I’m looking forward to a warm stage, we have a great crew, everyone is very nice and I think I will learn a lot from them. This is a unique opportunity and I will enjoy it as much as I can because you never know when it all ends and you have to get the most out of life.”

Image: Ambassadors Laura, Maaike and Marleen

Fellow crew member Jade Golder who sails around the world Perseverance said: We have a lot of new participants which is going to be interesting and I am Watch Leader which I am looking forward to; we really have a great group. It will be more relaxed compared to the last race, and it will be warm, which I am looking forward to.”

The Perseverance team is also at the top of the rankings. About this, Jade said: “We will work very hard. We are all starting to feel the pressure now. We probably realized that we didn’t try as hard as we should have, but I think we can do better. So we will work very hard on this and hopefully perform well. I think because we know victory is within reach, it will push us harder. When we started this, I didn’t even think in my wildest dreams that we could ever be the first, but now it’s within our reach, so we’re going for it.”

Image: Lively room

As sunlight glistened on both the city’s skyscrapers to the east and the surrounding mountains, the fleet was joined by the Seattle Fire Department’s fire boat for a water salute – an amazing spectacle for those on the dock.

Image: Water salute to the fleet

It was then time for the fleet to leave the Puget Sound en route to the meeting point for the start of Race 11 Le Mans, which will take place on May 5, 2024 at 00:00 UTC, overseen by Lead Skipper, James Finney of Zhuhai.

Image: Fleet leaves Seattle

Follow the website and our social media channels for the latest race updates.

Join the race