After a short beat Cape Town had pulled out in front and rounded the windward mark ahead of Bristol, New York and Glasgow. London, with her new skipper Rory Gillard followed in 5th place and was chased by Hong Kong Liverpool and finally Jersey.
Bristol was first to raise her spinnaker and maintained a more southerly course while Cape Town favoured a more northerly track. The wind remained steady at 15 knots giving the fleet an excellent send off although, for once, the sun deserted Ko Olina.
Before their departure all the crew members of Leg 3 gathered on the pontoon for a mass briefing and a group photograph. Over thiis two week period a tremendously warm feeling has developed between the Clipper crews and our hosts at Ko Olina. The crews all appreciate just how much effort has been put into arranging the visit and the Prize Giving etc and expressed their gratitude to everyone involved in making this such an enjoyable stop. With the 8 docks empty there is now a big hole in the front of the marina but this visit has brought Ko Olina into the headlines both in Hawaii and internationally. It is a superbly run facility in a glorious setting and I am sure will now attract other events and visits.
Adam Kyffin in Liverpool Clipper is the Duty Skipper for the first week. He will be collecting the positions and distances to run for the other 7 yachts and sending them back with his observations. Although Roger Steven-Jennings signed off with a chirpy 'See you in Hong Kong' the course is not actually that difficult, providing you have the right page open in the Race Instructions. After the green windward mark at Ko Olina the next mark to aim for is the finish line just to the east of Tokyo Bay, some 3,400 miles away. In reality I suspect the boats will favour a westerly course to begin with and cover nearly 4000 mikes.
In Feb 2001 Anna Kellagher's brilliant records in London Clipper showed that they took 23.1 days. For this race the calendar allows them 24 days but don't forget they loose a day when they cross the International date line. The fleet is expect to arrive in Yokohama on 8 March.