Clipper Yacht Race 1 (England to Madeira)

Qingdao Clipper takes 8th place in the first race of the 2011/12 Clipper Yacht Race from Southampton, England to Madeira. Despite an excellent start out of the Solent at the beginning of the 40,000-mile race around the world, Qingdao and the nine other international teams taking part were caught out on the first night when the wind died, forcing the crews to drop their kedge anchors to prevent their boats going backwards with the tide.

The fickle conditions continued until the teams entered the notorious Bay of Biscay which lived up to its reputation by delivering strong headwinds and lumpy seas. Eventually the trade winds kicked in as the fleet rounded Cape Finisterre and the crews were able to enjoy the fast downwind sailing conditions that the Clipper 68s are built for.

The second half of the 1,340-mile first race has been a two-way battle between team Gold Coast and team Visit Finland. The Finnish team took second place in first race.

Gold Coast Australia, one of two Australian teams competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race, has secured victory in the first race from Southampton to Madeira, crossing the finish line at 1337 local time (1237GMT).

Clipper Yacht Race 1 (England to Madeira)
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