Clipper Race starts on course to Bermuda
A sailing team, representing Bermuda in the Clipper Race, has started its race across the North Pacific Ocean on leg seven of a race that will bring the fleet to the island next month.
After a two-year delay caused by the pandemic, the GoToBermuda team started its North Pacific quest, restarting the Clipper 2019-20 Race from the Philippines.
The seventh leg will see the teams race from Seattle down to Panama, pass through the Panama Canal and then up to Bermuda arriving in mid-June where the crews will take a break and enjoy a week on island before racing on to New York.
After New York, the fleet will race across the North Atlantic to Londonderry for the city’s Maritime Festival.
“We have been waiting for two years to welcome Team Bermuda, and the Clipper Race to Bermuda,” said Charles Jeffers II, Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO.
“We’re proud of Bermudian ambassadors, Clipper Race sailors Matthew Stevens and Chanara Smith-Rookes, who will each brave the voyage and will bring a dose of Bermudian culture to their respective legs. We wish our ambassadors and each crew a safe and easy journey and look forward to welcoming them to Bermuda’s shores.”
The multinational crew of some 150 sailors includes the 14-strong GoToBermuda crew, representing five different nationalities from Canadian to Chinese. It also includes father and daughter Chris and Maddie Church.
“Sailing halfway around the world with my father is the opportunity of a lifetime,” she said. “Sailing has always been a huge part of his life, so I’m excited to do this together and share these moments and memories to come.
her father added: “Sailing is a passion of mine and I am thrilled to be sailing across the most challenging oceans in the world with my daughter.
“Bermuda is a home-from-home for us, it’s a spectacular place with super-friendly people, and it’s going to be amazing to sail into port there, having crossed the North Pacific and transited the Panama Canal.”
The entire GoToBermuda Race Crew competing across the full edition consists of 67 men and women, from 18 to 72 years old from 13 different countries.
On restarting the race and the challenges that lie ahead, GoToBermuda Skipper, David ‘Wavy’ Immelman, said: “We are feeling confident in our team.
“There’s a lot of things to look forward to about this North Pacific challenge, from the experience itself and to the hard work of the team pulling together and of course celebrating the team’s achievement when they complete it!”