Race 8 of the Clipper 2002 series, the Sinotrans Race from Shanghai to Hong Kong, started today at 09:28 GMT.
Simon Rowell, duty skipper, reported that "Everyone got away cleanly from the start line, 5 nautical miles SE of Xikui Doa Rock in Langgangshan Liedao, and the fleet gybed in the veering breeze onto a heading of approximately 200 towards Waypoint A."
Currently the weather is good, with about 15 knots from the NNE and 9 miles visibility, with a slight chop. The water is quite clean, which means that watermakers all over the fleet will be going overtime to provide water for the showers missed in Shanghai.
As the wind increased last night, it had made the fleet anchorage much less hospitable. Although the decision to stay overnight was not a difficult one to make, as the area is littered with fish traps and buoys which would have made the short motor dangerous in the dark.
At first light this morning, the crews eagerly set upon their final preparations for the Sinotrans Race ahead of the short motor South of the anchorage for a Le Mans start.
So farewell to the Shanghai stopover that never was and hello Race 8; Hong Kong here we come!