Clipper Race: New Overall Leader

Published on October 26th, 2015

Cape Town, SA (October 26, 2015) – After 3,400 nautical miles and 15 days racing across the South Atlantic Ocean, Qingdao and LMAX Exchange arrived in Cape Town today within hours of each other.

After the second leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race started October 7 for 10 of the teams, repairs to Qingdao and LMAX Exchange delayed their start from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to October 11. The yachts sustained rudder damage outside of racing during the stopover in Brazil.

The entire fleet competed on a level, elapsed time basis, with Qingdao overtaking first leg winner LMAX Exchange in the final 24 hours. Under one of the world’s most iconic landmarks Table Mountain, Qingdao crossed the finish line at 1131 UTC (1331 local time) and was followed LMAX Exchange at 1326 UTC. On elapsed time, the final two boats finished in ninth and tenth position.

“The team has worked very hard to achieve a competitive race time in very difficult weather conditions, and recording fast boat speeds in the strong winds,” said Qingdao skipper Igor Gotlibovych. “They have shown great courage and endurance. Everyone has played their part in getting us to Cape Town safely.

“It was a match race with LMAX Exchange and we are very happy to have beaten them in this race because they are a strong team. We took the decision to go south and head for the Scoring Gate and are so pleased that it paid off.”

Qingdao picked up three bonus points by being the fastest team to reach the South Atlantic Scoring Gate. This manoeuvre meant that the team had to push down into the Southern Ocean to avoid the high pressure system and encountered challenging conditions in the notorious waters which circulate around Antarctica developing large waves without encountering land.

LMAX Exchange skipper Olivier Cardin commented on the choices made by his team. “It was difficult because we didn’t start with the other boats but in the beginning it was good because we had good speeds. We chose a different course to Qingdao and had some great days, covering 215 miles in one day. Unfortunately in the last five days there was a big high pressure system to overcome and it was very difficult. Qingdao went south of us to the Scoring Gate and under the high pressure.

“We concentrated on trimming and spent a long time with our spinnaker and white sails. So we held on but missed out to Qingdao in the end. Despite that, the morale on board has been great.”

The race was won by GREAT Britain with a time of 14 days 2 hours 30 minutes, and it was followed by Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Garmin.

The final standings and points awarded for the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms are:
1st – GREAT Britain (12 points)
2nd – Derry~Londonderry~Doire (11 + 2 bonus points for being second through the Scoring Gate)
3rd – Garmin (10 points)
4th – Mission Performance (9 points)
5th – Clipper Telemed+ (8 points )
6th – Da Nang – Viet Nam (7 + 1 bonus point for being third through the Scoring Gate)
7th – IchorCoal (6 + two bonus points for having the fastest Ocean Sprint time)
8th – PSP Logistics (5 points)
9th – Qingdao (4 + 3 bonus points for the fastest time to the Scoring Gate)
10th – LMAX Exchange (3 points)
11th – Visit Seattle (2 points)
12th – Unicef (1 point)

Penalty points have yet to be calculated for Race 2 but as it stands GREAT Britain and Derry~Londonderry~Doire top the Overall Race Standings with 23 points each. LMAX Exchange is in third and Qingdao in fourth.

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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 third leg will start October 31 and takes the fleet 4856 nm from Cape Town, South Africa to Albany, Western Australia. The fleet is estimate to finish between November 22 and 26.

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.



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