Crew members aboard De Lage Landen in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race are looking to spoil the homecoming of the series leader in Sunday’s (4 December) sprint from New Zealand to Australia’s Gold Coast.
De Lage Landen, skippered by Stuart Jackson, is currently placed fourth on 34 points trailing Gold Coast Australia on 53 as they prepare to head out on the eight day race to ‘Down Under’s’ premier tourist destination.
The Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city and the nation’s ‘capital for fun’. Eleven million international and domestic visitors flock to the Gold Coast annually to enjoy more than 70 kilometres of idyllic surf beaches and 100,000 hectares of world heritage-listed rainforest.
It is also one of Australia’s fastest growing centres with the yacht race’s competitors set to soak up the restaurants, nightlife and other attractions the city offers.
Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke, himself a renowned competitor as a multi-medalist at two Olympic Games, said crews would be amazed at the attractions, current and future infrastructure planned for the city.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race sits perfectly with our lifestyle – our waterways are nine times the length of Venice’s canal system and we have one of the highest ownerships of boats throughout Australia per capita.
“Competitors will be wowed by our theme parks, restaurants and nightlife as well as many other attractions when they are here.’’
Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke, an athlete familiar with sporting rivalry as a bronze medalist in the 10,000 metres at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, welcomed De Lage Landen’s bid to end Gold Coast Australia’s unbeaten streak.
“We’re a proud sporting city which competes in four national competitions and is home to stars such as surfing champs Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, US Open tennis champion Samantha Stosur and world champion hurdler Sally Pearson,’’ he said.
“The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race sits perfectly with our lifestyle – our waterways are nine times the length of Venice’s canal system and we have one of the highest ownerships of boats throughout Australia per capita.
“Competitors will be wowed by our theme parks, restaurants and nightlife when they are here.’’
De Lage Landen will be vying for competition points in the race from Tauranga to the Gold Coast, a shorter ‘sprint’ style race in the 11 month challenge.
De Lage Landen will be aiming to claw back the lead of Gold Coast Australia as the race approaches the midway point in the circumnavigation.
The 1800 kilometre race across the Tasman Sea to the Gold Coast is one of the shorter features of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, and is expected to take approximately eight days for the leading group to compete. Crews are expected to arrive into the Southport Yacht Club between 11-13 December.
The De Lage Landen yacht will undergo maintenance and repairs at the Gold Coast Marine Precinct during the stopover.
What is the Gold Coast like?
The Gold Coast is a dynamic, expanding city offering a diverse range of experiences and lifestyles:
- it’s recognised as Australia’s premier tourism destination. It generates $11.4 billion from tourism annually
- it’s a multi-cultural city; approximately a quarter of the population was born overseas.
- residents from The Netherlands are the seventh largest migrant group
- it’s an hour’s drive south of Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, and approximately one hour by plane from Sydney
- along with tourism, construction, health care and social assistance and manufacturing – including the city’s Marine Precinct – are the Gold Coast’s main industries