Bristol wins Race 1 of The Times Clipper Race

Bob Beggs beats the rush into the Algarve

Tuesday October 24th 2000, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
Bristol Clipper took line honours more than two and a half hours ahead of second-placed Plymouth Clipper in Race 1 of The Times Clipper 2000 Round The World Yacht Race. Bob Beggs helmed his boat across the line off the coast of Vilamoura, Portugal, at just after 10am (GMT) on Sunday 22 October.
Matt Baker celebrated second place with his crew aboard Plymouth Clipper at 1240 (GMT), whilst the other five boats were still locked in battle further out to sea. Portsmouth and Jersey Clippers were approaching Cape St Vincent for their final 40-mile dash to the line. As they altered course around the headland the strong winds that had bowled them along for the past few hours dropped out, and they were forced to lower their spinnakers in the fading breeze.

London Clipper, some 12 miles behind at the last radio schedule, carried her wind and realised what was happening in front. She kept more to seaward and closed down her rivals with frightening ease. This group, now three strong, was then locked in combat all the way to Vilamoura. In the end Portsmouth Clipper held her lead by just three minutes over London, whose passing manoeuvre had taken her past Jersey Clipper, 15 minutes further astern by the finish.

With the strong winds off Portugal it has been a baptism of fire for those less experienced in offshore sailing. Now the fleet rests for a few days before the beginning of Race 2 from the Algarve across the Atlantic to Cuba.

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