Took in Copacabana while racing at 200%

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet parade past Sugarloaf Mountain ahead of the start of Race 3.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet parade past Sugarloaf Mountain ahead of the start of Race 3.

Well, it is the first day of Race 1 and we are off to Cape Town after leaving the beautiful coastline of Rio De Janeiro.

As always, the race start did not disappoint. This morning we started off bright and early to finish small jobs on the boat and about an hour before we slipped lines, a Brazilian-Irish band showed up at the port to play some songs to send us off.

The entire crew joined in on dancing and singing to the amazing music. Of course, the Irish boat would be the one to throw the last party.

It meant a lot to me to have two friends visiting from New York to witness the boat’s good cheer and see us off on our way to the next location.

After the parade of sail, we tried not to be distracted with the views of Sugar Loaf and ‘the big man on the mountain’, as all 12 boats tacked and gybed to position themselves the best for the start line.

Once again, Derry~Londonderry~Doire was, we believe, first over the start line, but of course we are biased.

Then we were off to take in the sites of Flamengo, Copacabana, and Ipanema beaches, all while racing 200% of course. I can’t imagine what the beachgoers were thinking, seeing 12 racing yachts just offshore with mere metres between them as we rounded the marks.

We are now well on our way and positioned exactly where we want to be and ahead of the other boats based on our strategy, but of course, I will not disclose what that strategy is.

You will just have to keep refreshing that Yellowbrick app to find out.

Meanwhile, Ian Cullen reports:- Since Sean and the Derry~Londonderry~Doire got off to a flying start from Rio on Saturday morning the race has been neck and neck.

According to the official report, the Derry yacht crossed the start line in second place, although many in the city may choose to stick by the skipper’s version of events.

However, by yesterday morning the Derry yacht had slipped back to tenth place, albeit that there was less than 40 nautical miles between it and first placed Great Britain.

And there is a long distance for all that to change as the twelve strong fleet has more than 3,000 miles to race in the South Atlantic before arriving in Cape Town, South Africa.

Sean said: “Our strategy and tactics have been fairly solid until now; it’s the same as in Race 2 when we were planning to get west and I warned them that it might not look too good in the early weather reports, but hopefully it will pay off four or five days into the race and we don’t need to be leading out.

“We would like to do well in this race. We deserve to do well and we will be pushing hard and hoping for a result.”

The fleet are due into Cape Town towards the end of the month and will be berthed at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

Following a brief stopover, the fleet will then continue on via Albany in Western Australia, Sydney (including the world famous Rolex Sydney Hobart Race), Brisbane, Singapore, China, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry and Dan Helder in the Netherlands before returning to London’s St Katharine Docks for Race Finish in July 2014.

The Clipper Race will return to London in July 2014 after a total of 670 crew race 40,000 miles and visit 15 ports on six continents.