On December 24th, 2019 (Western Australia time), the “Visit Sanya, China” team set sail on the fourth stage of the Clipper 2019-20 Round-the-world Yacht Race. That leg of the race is 4,000 nautical miles long, and is sometimes referred to as the Australian Coast-to-Coast Leg. The yachts are expected to take about 20 days to sail from Fremantle to Whitsundays.


The fifth of 15 races that forms the complete circumnavigation of the earth, named “The Whitsundays, Heart of the Great Barrier Reef” race, saw eight teams set sail from Fremantle Sailing Club on December 22nd local time.

Allowing for adequate rest and preparation time, the remaining three teams – “Unicef,” “Punta del Este,” and “Visit Sanya, China” – experienced delays during Race Four, and were racing on elapsed time against the rest of the fleet on December 24th local time.


During the race’s current leg, expected to take around 20 days, 180 crew members from all over the world will celebrate Christmas and New Year’s at sea. The Sanya Ambassadors serving on the fourth leg are Sun Jing and Zhujiang, both of whom are experienced sailors. They have displayed confidence and professionalism during this leg of the voyage.


After rounding Rottnest Island, the bows of the yachts will point south as the fleet tracks along the coast of Western Australia, out of the Indian Ocean, and back to the challenge of the “roaring forties” of Southern Ocean – the ocean areas with strong westerly winds found in the southern hemisphere. Cape Leeuwin marks the southwestern tip of Australia, and is one of the three Great Capes, the second of the Clipper 2019-20 Race route, that only a privileged few get to sail.


Far across the horizon is the Great Australian Bight and the unforgiving shores of the Nullarbor Plain. At sea, the fleet will head toward the southern tip of Tasmania and into the Tasman Sea for the first time. Then, the Tasman Strait awaits. As the teams’ route turns north and heads toward its destination port on the eastern Australian seaboard, it will encounter huge ocean swells — popular with the Aussie surfers on the east coast — that will challenge the technical abilities and stamina of the crew.


The fleet is expected to arrive at the Whitsundays between January 11th and 14th, 2020, where the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival awaits.