Having refuelled in Costa Rica, the first group of yachts in the Clipper 07-08 fleet made speed towards Flamenco Marina at the entrance to the Panama Canal yesterday, and gathered to prepare for the transit to the Caribbean side and the forthcoming Race 10 to Port Antonio, Jamaica.

In Banana Bay Marina in Costa Rica, Byron and Paula Grams on Schooner Astor watched as the Clipper yachts arrived to refuel and sent in some photos.

“Nova Scotia came in at first light this morning and took on their load of fuel and provisions. Hull & Humber came in right after that,” Byron Grams said. “Everyone seemed in great spirits, but we’re really disappointed they couldn’t step off the boat … to walk up to the bar at Banana Bay Marina, let alone have a good look at Golfito.”


The crews had to stay on board while Costa Rican immigration formalities were completed and they were cleared in and out of the country for their whistle-stop visit.

Gram wrote, “The official paperwork process is completed faster than the time it takes to fuel. Bags of fresh mangoes, papayas, pineapples and apples are handed over to the crew as well as fresh brewed Costa Rican coffee, cold beer, and the bonus surprise of ice cream cones are dished out as long as the supply holds. Marina manager Bruce hosted them right. A quick round of Internet was enjoyed then lines were cast to get back under way.

“As I type I hear western-australia2011.com on the radio so they may not be far behind.”

The second half of the fleet is due to join the rest of the yachts in the Flamenco Marina today.