All possible alternative berthing sites on the river were explored and it has reluctantly been agreed that none of these offered sufficiently safe berthing for Clipper's fleet of eight racing yachts.
The requirements for berthing yachts are not often compatible with a busy commercial port and therefore careful consideration is required to find safe moorings for yachts in such areas.
A great many people and organisations have been involved in setting up the Clipper Race visit to Shanghai and it is regretted that these efforts will not result in the yachts visiting the magnificent city on this occasion. It is to everyone's credit that the overriding aspect of the safety of the racing yachts and their crews have been the primary considerations.
The whole fleet is currently berthed in a waiting anchorage 30 miles offshore and will now prepare themselves for their next race direct to Hong Kong.
Reaction from the crew has been disappointment not to visit the city of Shanghai, but as experienced sailors they also appreciate that the requirement for safety at sea has to be matched by safety in harbour.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston commented: "The Huang Po river is probably the busiest in the world where it passes through Shanghai and has always created a traffic problem and large wash from ocean going ships. Although this has been a difficult decision, without protected berthing, visiting Shanghai is not an option. Good luck to all the crews on their way to Hong Kong."
Race eight of the Clipper 2002 series will now get underway on Saturday, 22 March 2003, with the fleet sailing through the Taiwan Strait for Hong Kong; the important halfway stage of the eleven-month circumnavigation and the conclusion of the third crew leg.
After Hong Kong, the race returns to Liverpool (UK) via the Philippines, Singapore, Mauritius, Cape Town, Salvador, New York and a final Atlantic crossing to Jersey. A thrilling dash back to Liverpool, via Holyhead, will see the fleet cross the finish line on 27, September 2003 after some 35,000 miles of racing in all.
20 March 2003
(PROVISIONAL) CLIPPER 2002 OVERALL ORDER AFTER RACE 7:
Place Yacht Cumulative Points
1 Jersey 46
2 Bristol 38
3 London 37
4 Liverpool 33.5
5 Hong Kong 31
6 Glasgow 31
7 New York 23
8 Cape Town 11