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13 March 2003, 10:02 am
Race Seven Gets Underway
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Race 7 Start

Clipper 2002/2003 Round the World Race
Yokohama (JPN) - Shanghai (CHN)

Race Seven of the 2002/2003 Clipper Round the World Race got underway today after a short wait for the wind and it was <I>Bristol Clipper</I> who crossed the line first.

Yet again it was another lovely morning as the Clipper got ready for sea at the Bayside Marina. When all the formalities had been cleared they proceeded down to the entrance of Tokyo Bay for the start. Two years ago at this spot they were facing a force 9 gale. This year as the convoy of official boats and race yachts mustered the wind died and the sea became flat calm. Whereas some recent high profile yacht races have had to wait days for the right conditions this was not to happen here. The Clipper Champion and our principal host, Mr Kaido, stated that everyone should enjoy lunch in the sun and that the wind would pick up again from the east in an hour's time. We all went to lunch and in an hours time the wind picked up from the east to provide a perfect windward start. Life's all about knowing the right people….

Bristol Clipper was chased over the line by New York. Cape Town timed it just right and with good boat speed was clear in front of Liverpool as they slipped past her - lucky no one from the Liverpool yacht Club was watching that one. Next was London followed by Glasgow and Jersey. Hong Kong, basking in the glory of her win into Yokohama gave the others a wee bit of a start by taking up the rear of the fleet.

After a 8 mile beat out of the Tokyo bay they should have a light but fair wind to get them off to a good start. The weather looks to be kind for at least the first two days, after that the next depression is due to arrive. Race Seven is a 925 nm to Shanghai and the front runners are expected to arrive on 22 March.

Colinsan/ISAF Secretariat
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