Clipper Race: Sir Robin Leads UK Veterans
Published on December 29th, 2017
(December 29, 2017; Day 4) – The cricket might have gone the way of Australia, but legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has led the UK to victory in the Ashes on the Water in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and finished 49th overall.
Invictus Games Sydney 2018 GAME ON (CV10), which was crewed by UK veterans and had Sir Robin (the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69) on board as a Navigator, has beaten the Australian crewed Invictus Games Sydney 2018 DOWN UNDER (CV5), after crossing the finish line in Hobart at 17:00:53 Local time (06:00:53 UTC) on Friday, December 29.
Upon arriving into Hobart, Sir Robin said: “It was a great race and probably my best Sydney Hobart so far. I think it was a really fast race and we had a great Skipper, great crew, great mate and we got the tactics right.”
Despite the downwind conditions, which favour the Clipper 70s more than the Clipper 68s, Invictus Games Sydney 2018 GAME ON (CV10) got off to a strong start and finished the same way, completing the 630 nautical mile bluewater classic in 3 Days, 4 hours and 53 seconds. Remarkably, the team beat six of the Clipper 70s and finished under 32 minutes behind the leading Clipper 70, Sanya Serenity Coast.
Despite being the underdog to the Clipper 70 fleet, Sir Robin cheekily added: “Just a bit upset that we only beat six of the Clipper 70s but these Clipper 68s are good, solid boats! As we came up to Tasman Island, we were ninth in the Clipper fleet and we just pushed on. For amateur sailors, these guys were absolutely brilliant. The attitude was great, the enthusiasm was great and everything that needed doing got done.”
The eight wounded, injured, and ill UK veterans have spent the last few weeks undergoing rigorous training at the Clipper Ventures Training Centres in both Gosport, UK, and Sydney, Australia and were led by Skipper, Will Parbury.
Crew member, Catherine Ruddick, said: “The team worked really well together and we all got on really well. We also had a bit of feedback from Sir Robin and the Skipper to say that they were really impressed with our enthusiasm. It’s been a really amazing opportunity and it’s a huge compliment.
“We had a bit of a mixture of sailing conditions. Coming out of the Sydney Heads, it was all spinnaker and quite chilled but then we got rougher weather, and then coming in to Hobart it was a battle, absolutely brilliant.”
Clipper Ventures has been working with Invictus Games Sydney 2018 and Help for Heroes to give wounded, injured and ill UK and Australian veterans and defence personnel the opportunity to take part in the iconic bluewater classic. The race will form part of their rehabilitation as they use the healing power of sport to move forward in their recovery. It’s also a chance to highlight that the fourth Invictus Games, to be held in Sydney in October 2018, will debut sailing on the competition schedule.
The Australian crewed Invictus Games Sydney 2018 DOWN UNDER (CV5) has over 40 nautical miles to go to the finishing line (at the time of writing) and is estimated to arrive in Hobart in the early hours of tomorrow, Saturday 30 December. To follow the boat’s progress, keep an eye on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Tracker.
Participation in the race is being led by Invictus Games Sydney 2018 with support from; Jaguar Land Rover, the presenting Partner of Invictus Games Sydney 2018, Help for Heroes, Clipper Ventures, ClubsNSW and Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
The fourth stage of the Clipper 2017-18 Race, officially known as Race 4: The Clipper Telemed+ Tasman Test, includes three races along the Australian coast. The 11 teams will race from Fremantle to Sydney, Sydney to Hobart, and Hobart to Airlie Beach in the heart of the picturesque Whitsunday Islands.
The first of three races started December 2 for the 2500nm course from Fremantle to Sydney.
The All-Australian Leg is the fourth of eight legs that make up the 40,000-nautical mile, eleven-month Clipper 2017-18 Race.
Background: Held biennially, the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race got underway August 20 for the fleet of twelve* identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. The 40,000nm course is divided into 13 individual races with the team having the best cumulative score winning the Clipper Race Trophy. Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew that signs up for one, some, or all the races. The 2017-18 race, expected to take 11 months, has attracted 712 people representing 41 nationalities, making it the largest to date.
* Twelve teams began the first leg but one yacht (Greenings) ran aground just hours after the start on October 31 of the third leg from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Australia. The crew was safely evacuated but damage to the boat was deemed too extensive for it to continue in the 2017-18 edition.
Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race