Times Clipper 2000 - Start

The race got underway at midday on 15th October

Sunday October 15th 2000, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
Conditions at the start of the Times Clipper 2000 Round the World Race were almost a complete re-run of the weather at the BT Global Challenge start, just over a month earlier. The flat water, sunshine and light air was ideal for watching, but not so good for sailing. The gun went for the start off Southsea Castle in a light five knot southerly breeze, and the eight identical 60 ft yachts set off on their 11 month circumnavigation.
Each of the boats is sponsored by a UK city and it was London Clipper that made the best of the start, but Bristol Clipper had headed her by the first mark. The resemblance to the BT Global Challenge pretty much ends with the start conditions however, as these boats are headed round the warm weather route - the first stop is Vilamoura in Portugal, then across the Atlantic to Cuba.

Shirley Robertson had been aboard HMS Glasgow, leading a sailpast of the combined Clipper Ventures fleet, with the race fleet were the ten Clipper Reflex 38's and ten Clipper Gemini RIBs. Shirley said afterwards, "The experience aboard HMS Glasgow was one I will never forget. The Olympics provided an immense boost for British sailing which was clearly demonstrated again today by the atmosphere and enthusiasm amongst the crews, their families and race supporters here in Portsmouth."

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