Clipper Race set-off for China

The Clipper Forever Tropical Paradise Race to Sanya, China, officially got underway at 14:00 local time (04:00 UTC) Tuesday, with a Le Mans start.

The finish order of the teams during yesterday's short race course in Pioneer Bay set the order for the start line.

Winning team, Visit Seattle, was awarded the advantage of being the windward boat.

Unicef took an initial lead for five minutes but after the first two hours of sailing Dare To Lead has managed to pull away and currently has a two nautical mile advantage on the pack which remains tightly compacted.

As the teams now head north towards the Solomon Sea and then west over the top of Papua New Guinea and across the Equator, temperatures are expected to soar, along with the intensity of the racing.

The race to Sanya is expected to take between 23 to 27 days, with the fleet expected to arrive into the Sanya Serenity Marina between the 21 and 25 of February.

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