To me, the start of the different legs which make up the Clipper Race have often resembled Formula 1 starts. And the latest from the city of Albany in Western Australia was no different.

The twelve yachts all set off across the start line, trying to outmanoeuvre each other to get an advantage. At one point, my boat Switzerland was racing alongside one of our rivals PSP Logistics. They were only a few feet away and I could clearly see their crew working on their deck as we tried to beat each other. But suddenly, I heard a crunching sound and saw the PSP crew looking round at the back of their boat. Passing behind them was the Great Britain boat but it was missing something crucial. The bowsprit - a long pole which sticks out at the front of the boat - was missing. It had broken off after colliding with the back of PSP Logistics.

Fortunately, both sets of crew were unharmed though both boats had to return to the harbour in Albany for repairs. The other ten set off towards the Southern Ocean following a route that takes us around the island of Tasmania and up to Sydney on Australia's Eastern Coast.

Competition heats up in the shorter races Credit: Clipper Ventures

As this is a shorter race than usual, this race has been very competitive. Only a few miles separate the boats and there has been plenty of changes to the leaderboard. There have also been some strong winds - particularly when we passed round the Southern end of Tasmania - which have made the going rough. But we are now only a few days away from reaching Sydney and plenty of my crew are looking forward to seeing the iconic opera house and harbour bridge.

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