Gold Coast Australia and the fleet of 10 Clipper Yachts have started Race 14 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
It was a fantastic and emotional send off by the people of Derry and Londonderry who lined the banks, fired cannons, blew horns and waved flags as we left the dock.
This race is going to be a tough one for me for a number of reasons. The main challenge Gold Coast will face is that this race is a coastal race in an area that I am not familiar with. Though we have done a lot of research, the lack of local knowledge of the area which is very tidal and has many mountains, bays, coves and islands that will effect the local winds.
The main obstacle of this race is Pentland Firth which is renown for having up to 12 kts of tidal stream. Everything I have read about the firth recommends not going there. Depending on our timing to the area we may opt to sail around it, however this will give following boats a massive advantage. No doubt the yacht in this race that gets through the firth and into the norh sea first will be the winner.