Leg 1 UK to Madeira (Race 1 est 8 days) to Rio (Race 2 est 28 days)
Across the world’s busiest shipping lanes (having experienced these in fog on Level 2 and in the pitch black on the way to France in level 1, it’s fair to say they are like the M25) to the Bay of Biscay. Then on with the trade winds and some sunshine (Pims anyone?) towards the equator. Crossing the North and South Atlantic, through the squally Doldrums and eventually to Rio.
31st July 2011 to early September
Leg 2 Rio to Capetown (Race 3 est 18 days)
Downwind through the South Atlantic and then the Indian Ocean.
early Sept to late October
Across the Indian Ocean, past the Cape of Good Hope to the challenging Southern Ocean (some of the most extreme sailing in the world according to the blurb!). Apparently some big seas and it may be a bit chilly!
early October to end October
Leg 4 W. Australia to New Zealand (Race 5 est 20 days)to The Gold Coast (Race 6 est 8 days)
Back into the Indian Ocean past Cape Leeuwin then on to the Pacific Ocean.
early November to late Dec
Leg 5 Goldcoast to Singapore (Race 7 est 33 days) to Qingdao, China (Race 8 est 20 days)
Sailing in cyclone season! Sailing up the Gold Coast in prevailing winds (slightly less fun I’m led to believe). Through the heat (Pims again, or perhaps a G&T this time?), back across the equator and into the Doldrums again and back into the Pacific Ocean then the South China Sea. It then turns a little chilly – very cold as the winds come from straight ahead and we move into the East China Sea.
Christmas eve! to late Feb
Leg 6 Qingdao to West Coast USA, San Faransisco or Santa Cruze (Race 9 est 32 days)
A tough race, very, very cold. Crossing the Pacific downwind. And hopefully having spotted some amazing wildlife. Returning to the heat again near port.
early March to mid early April
Passing through the Pacific again. A 42 mile motor through the Panama canal that takes a day to the Atlantic. Through the Carribean (Pina–colada?) out to the North Atlantic in tropical heat and squalls.
mid April to end May
Across the Atlantic, looking out for icebergs. Through the foggy Grand Banks with lots of fishing boats, where The Perfect Storm was filmed and the Titanic sank. From there on, to the Irish Sea, round the top of Scotland and back into familiar waters for the final journey home.
early June to end 22nd July