TWO Isle of Wight sailors competing in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race are due to head out on the next epic leg across the Pacific Ocean to Asia, following a severe weather warning delay.

Josh Stickland, who won the fourth leg of the race in Western Australia recently, on board Ha Long Bay Viet Nam, and Max Rivers, skippering Our Isles and Oceans, were due to set sail again from Airlie Beach, in Eastern Australia, after resting up, for the 6,300-mile Leg 5 on Monday.

However, Clipper Race organisers delayed the start, monitoring an imminent tropical low-pressure system, which is likely to develop into a cyclone.

The timing of the depression will impact on the departure for Race 7, on the Asia-Pacific Challenge to Zhuhai, China, with the safety of crew paramount.

The fleet were due to depart Airlie Beach today (Friday), subject to the weather, for Customs and Immigration clearance out of Australia for tomorrow (Saturday). 

They will then motor-sail through the Great Barrier Reef to the Le Mans start area — a journey of 125 nautical miles through the Hydrographer’s Passage — which should take 18–20 hours.

The offshore Le Mans start for Race 7 will take place at 10am on Sunday.

Josh is currently sitting in sixth, with 40 points, while fellow Islander Max is two points ahead, in fourth.