Sanya Tropical Paradise - update from Trevor

Posted by Trevor Thurlow on 2020-02-18

Sanya Tropical Paradise - Leg 5 Clipper Round The World

Well, the Sanya Tropical Paradise Race didn’t go as planned with a 2 day delay in departure from Airlie Beach - Australia, while we waited for water maker parts for 3 yachts and then the virus crisis meaning that we couldn’t race into Sanya China as planned.  It was very strange from a navigation point of view actually racing towards an unknown end point before the last week of the race when we were told that we were being diverted to Subic Bay in the Philippines.  Visiting 3 ports in China, including our host port Zhuhai, was one of the main highlights of the RTW race for me, so l was a little disappointed and down for a few days but have now recovered my mojo and committed to finish this epic adventure by sailing back into London on 8 August.

The 26 day race from Airlie Beach to Subic Bay was a strange and disappointing one due to long periods being sat in wind holes hardly moving while the sun in the tropics beat down on us without mercy.  It was also strangely devoid of wildlife meaning we were sat in what seemed like a featureless watery desert for days and weeks on end only saved by some quite spectacular sunsets. You will need to come to the ‘post cruise slideshow’ in winter 2021 to see them!

We started the race well establishing a 50 mile lead in the first week before being first into wind hole 1 and then last boat out of it.  A tactical error in the Doldrums really put paid to our chances of a podium place and we eventually finished 9th a day behind the 4 leading boats.

On a more positive note our new interim skipper Wendy (Wendo) Tuck has been great for morale and we now have an upbeat atmosphere on the boat and hope our results will improve prior to her leaving us part way through Leg 6.  To that end we are trying, here in Subic Bay, to get as much unnecessary kit and weight off the boat as we can.  You will see from the attached photo that l am personally doing my bit and have slimmed down to a racing weight.

Where do we go from here?  Well we can’t go to Zhuhai so we are setting off for an 8 to 10 day race around the Philippines - Subic Bay to Subic Bay, on Sunday 23 February, before we start Leg 6 and set sail for either Qingdao China, South Korea or Japan before setting off across the North Pacific for Seattle in the USA.  This leg being in my mind and that of others the last really major challenge before we reach race end.

That’s all for now - missing you all and looking forward to see you in the late summer.



(24,503 nautical miles and still going).

Photos following - Subic Bay Yacht Club and a very slim TT

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