The fifth stage of the Clipper 2002 Round The World Yacht Race, part of the second crew leg, will get underway on Friday, 10 January 2003.
The fleet of eight identical 60-ft yachts will set sail tomorrow on the "Ko Olina Cup Race," a 4,105 nautical mile journey from Galapagos to the Ko Olina Resort and Marina in Hawaii.
A closely fought second crew leg, has so far taken the fleet from Cuba, through the Panama Canal to spend Christmas in Panama City and then onto the equatorial Galapagos Islands. The first three yachts within the eight strong Clipper fleet arrived in the islands on Friday, 3 January with Jersey Clipper securing their second consecutive victory of Clipper 2002 and increasing their lead in the overall standings.
Tomorrow will see the fleet, after a welcome and well-earned 6-day break, motor out through the islands to restart the Clipper 2002 Race on the longest single stretch of the entire eleven-month circumnavigation. At over 4,000 miles this stretch of the race will see the fleet cross the eastern Pacific, confronting the vagaries of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), also known as the Doldrums.
The fleet are scheduled to arrive at the Hawaiian Island of Oahu on 2, February 2003 and their visit will be based in the newly built Ko Olina Marina, on the South West corner of the Island. Surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches and shady picnic areas, the Clipper crews will also be treated to incredible views of the Wainanae mountain range.
The third crew leg of the journey will start on 12, February crossing from Hawaii to Japan, then up the Yangtze River to Shanghai - a passage not ventured by any other round the world yacht race. Hong Kong then marks the conclusion of the third crew leg and the important halfway stage of the eleven-month race.