Afloat On A Boat Gallery

Afloat On A Boat & Underway? Post Your Boat Today!

Clipper Race: Time has no meaning

When racing offshore, the distractions of land are eliminated, allowing the mind to go down rabbit holes. As crew in the 2023-24 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, with the 11 teams on the 5,340nm course from China to the USA, David Laufer offers his thoughts from the Pacific Ocean:

We will soon cross the International Date Line, and while it is not often you get to gain 24 hours, the dateline is just a man-made concept, as is time itself. Time is a concept as old as, well, time. There is no innate need for hours, minutes, seconds, or degrees. Living things have always had their own sense of duration, and when to do things. How does a crocus know when it is spring, a bear to hibernate, a caterpillar to build its cocoon, or for that matter, an ovary to ovulate?

These are things one thinks about when you have time to do nothing but stare out at the limitless Pacific and infinite sky. On the micro level, time is critical: how much time do I have to get ready, eat, sleep, etc? On the macro level, however, it loses all meaning: days slip into other days and you lose track of when it is.

“Today” and “tomorrow” don’t exist. Watch after watch after watch you just sail and have to deal with whatever shows up: sail, eat, sleep, repeat. Sailing day into night into day into night seems like a dream, in some bardo, or space-in-between. It is both otherworldly and entirely mundane.

The notion of “progress” evaporates along with time. The thing about crossing an ocean is that the seascape is thoroughly undifferentiated. It looks exactly like it did when you started: endless water and limitless sky for 360⁰. You might be going around in circles.

There is nothing visible to the naked eye to mark your progress as there is on land.

On land, you can walk thousands of miles and visibly mark where you’ve been and where you’re getting to each day. What’s on the horizon changes and constantly reveals itself. Here, it’s just more horizon of water and sky. Crossing is an act of faith.

So, how to mark the passage of something that doesn’t exist and the “gain” of 24 hours when the sun has not miraculously risen a second time? By ritual of course, as humans have always done. But unlike passing the equator, where pollywogs turn into shellbacks, there is no ready-made ritual for this occasion. My proposal then to address this oversight is that this identical blog be published on two consecutive days. Thank you … in advance.

Race detailsTeam listRace routeTrackerFacebook

2023-24 edition will take the following route (updated):

Leg 1
Race 1. Portsmouth, UK – Puerto Sherry, Spain (1200nm) – 3 Sept Race Start, arrive 9 Sept
Race 2. Puerto Sherry, Spain – Punta del Este, Uruguay (5300nm) – 15 Sept Race Start, arrive 12-16 Oct

Leg 2
Race 3. Punta Del Este, Uruguay – Cape Town, South Africa (3555 nm)- 22 Oct Race start, arrive 6-10 Nov

Leg 3
Race 4. Cape Town, South Africa – Fremantle, Australia (4750 nm) – 18 Nov Race Start, arrive 8-13 Dec

Leg 4
Race 5. Fremantle, Australia – Newcastle, Australia (2510nm) – Race Start 19 Dec, Arrival 1-4 Jan 2024
Race 6. Newcastle – Airlie Beach, Australia (985nm) – Race Start 10 Jan, Arrive 16-17 Jan

Leg 5
Race 7. Airlie Beach, Australia – Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam (4515nm) – Race Start 28 Jan, Arrive 21-26 Feb
Race 8. Ha Long Bay – Zhuhai, China (645nm) – Race Start 2 March, Arrive 6-7 March

Leg 6
Race 9. Zhuhai, China – Qingdao, China (1370nm) – Race Start 12 March- Arrive 21-22 March
Race 10. Qingdao – Seattle, USA (5580nm) – Race Start 27 March, Arrive 21-26 April

Leg 7
Race 11. Seattle, USA – Panama Canal (4200nm) – Race Start 3 May, Arrive Panama 27 May-1 Jun
Race 12. Panama-Washington, DC, USA (1990nm) – Race Start 5 June, Arrive 17-19 June

Leg 8
Race 13. Washington, DC, USA – Oban, Scotland (3340nm) – Race Start 25 June, Arrive 12-16 July
Race 14. Oban – Portsmouth, UK (815nm) – Race Start 21 July, Arrive 27 July

About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race:
The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors.

Held biennially, the Clipper 2023-24 Round the World Yacht Race got underway September 3 for the fleet of eleven identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. This 13th edition has 24 crew aboard each yacht, coming from 63 different nationalities (105 sailors from the USA) for the 40,000 mile circumnavigation of the world.

The course is divided into 8 legs and 14 individual races, with some of the crew in for the entire circumnavigation while others will do individual legs. The team having the best cumulative score over the entire course will win the Clipper Race Trophy.

Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

{ "slotId": "8162186816", "unitType": "responsive", "pubId": "pub-9937879983149477", "resize": "auto" }

Next Post

Previous Post

Leave a Reply

© 2024 Afloat On A Boat Gallery

Theme by Anders Norén

Discover more from Afloat On A Boat Gallery

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Verified by ExactMetrics
Verified by MonsterInsights