Clipper Race: LMAX Exchange secures victory in Rio
Published on September 25th, 2015
(September 25, 2015; Race 1, Day 25) – LMAX Exchange has claimed victory today in the opening stage of the tenth edition Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race after it crossed the finish line first in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro at 1718 UTC (1518 local). The team led the race consistently since its early stages following a spectacular departure from London almost a month ago.
Speaking on behalf of the team as he stepped back on land at Marina da Gloria, Skipper Olivier Cardin remarked: “I feel very good. We led the race for the past two weeks and I’m really proud of the team effort. I’m very confident in my crew who did a great job.
“I know the teams behind are really competitive so we are certainly not taking this win for granted, We will take time together to study our plan for the next race as we will be pushed us hard again, but for now it is time to celebrate a team victory that we will never forget as long as we live.”
As well as claiming the maximum twelve points for the win, LMAX Exchange also won three bonus points for crossing the Scoring Gate first, getting its race campaign started with a healthy 15 point total.
Round the world crew member Steven O’Connor, a former Group Commander in the London Firebrigade, said: “It feels absolutely fantastic. All that hard work for the past 25 or more days has been all worth it. I can’t quite believe that I left my family waving on a misty, overcast, damp Southend Pier and now we’re here in beautiful, sunny Rio de Janeiro. It’s quite unbelievable really.
“We’re not going to be complacent but we’re in a good position to look forward to the next race to Cape Town with our heads held high.”
The team finished strongly, approximately 100 miles ahead of its nearest competitor which is still being fought for, followed an exceptionally challenging 5,200 nautical mile leg. LMAX Exchange was the first team to cross the start line and despite some early errors, it fought a close battle which saw little separation between it and GREAT Britain, and at times also Derry~Londonderry~Doire during the first week.
Olivier and his team then made a tactical decision to separate from its rivals to take the most coastal route, east of the Canary Islands where it found the better trade winds. It negotiated the Doldrums Corridor swiftly and maintained good boat speed almost all the way to Rio as it steadily increased its lead over the rest of the fleet, though struggled in light airs in the final 30 miles after it rounded Cabo Frio to approach the finish line.
LMAX Exchange CEO David Mercer sent a message of congratulations to his team as he said: “We are immensely proud of Olivier and his team for sailing an immaculate leg to Rio. They have set the bar high and have earned some well-deserved down time in Rio but knowing the crew I am sure in a few days their focus will be firmly set on improving further en route to Cape Town in the next race.”
Current second placed team Qingdao is in stealth mode which means its position will not be reported until 0600 UTC tomorrow but is not expected to arrive until Saturday afternoon, some 24 hours behind LMAX Exchange. GREAT Britain, Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Garmin are all battling hard for the remaining podium positions.
Race 2: The Sormhoek Race to Cape of Storms Cape Town, South Africa, will start on Wednesday 7 October after a brief stopover period in Rio de Janeiro.
You can track the progress of the rest of the fleet via the Clipper Race Viewer at www.clipperroundtheworld.com/raceviewer
Expected arrival times for the fleet, including redress for IchorCoal which is yet to be applied, is as follows:
ETA Marina da Gloria (Local time – UTC-3)
Saturday 26 September (PM): Qingdao
Sunday 27 September: Derry~Londonderry~Doire and GREAT Britain
Monday 28 September: Garmin
Tuesday 29 September: Visit Seattle
Wednesday 30 September: Clipper Telemed+ and PSP Logistics
Thursday 1 October: Mission Performance
Friday 2 October: Unicef, Da Nang–Viet Nam and IchorCoal
Report by event media
Background: The 40,000 mile Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race began in London, UK on August 30 for the fleet of twelve identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. The series is divided into 16 individual races, with the team with the best cumulative score winning the Clipper Race Trophy. Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew.
The teams are on the first leg from London, England to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The ports along the race route are Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Cape Town, South Africa; Albany, Sydney, Hobart and Airlie Beach, Australia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Qingdao, China; Seattle, USA; Panama; New York, USA; Derry-Londonderry, Ireland; and Den Helder, Netherlands before returning to London by late July.