Clipper Race: Podium Filled
Published on December 13th, 2015
(December 13, 2015; Day 13) – Following the victory yesterday by LMAX Exchange in Race 4 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the podium filled today as GREAT Britain and Garmin crossed the finish line.
Skipper Peter Thornton, whose GREAT Britain team crossed the finish line in second place at 1438 UTC (0138 local), said: “It was a tough race and I am very pleased with the boat and crew. Twelve hours ago I was getting very stressed and was thinking I could not get the boat to go any faster, and a couple of things changed, and it shows that you can never give up. We just pipped Ash and his Garmin crew at the end.
“We had to battle the East Australian Current against us, and that just made the difference against us and Garmin in the end. We pushed the boat hard and at one point coming round the south of Tasmania, we had 60 knot gusts when it was already blowing 40-50 knots. We just had to go with it and were surfing along at 20+ knots. The crew have had their first taste of the Bass Strait, and they have been asking for a briefing about what to expect on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race too,” Peter added.
After finishing at 1639 UTC (0339 local), Garmin Skipper Ashley Skett also reflected on the hard-fought battle between his team and nemesis GREAT Britain.
“I feel pretty shattered,” he said upon arrival. “The first week was very tough the conditions didn’t really let up with the close-hauled sailing and especially with the battle with GREAT Britain the whole way. They are turning out to be quite a problem for us every leg. It seems to be very close competition with them. Pete and I have a similar take on things and I can predict what he is thinking a lot of the time and that makes for some close, exciting racing.
“For the race fans, it’s good to watch back home, but tiring for us. We damaged our heavyweight spinnaker yesterday unfortunately as we were pushing very hard, and that is where Pete took advantage of that happening. We were catching up at the end, but it just wasn’t quite enough time. We have learnt to sail the boat really well now and we are looking forward to continuing our good form in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race,” Ashley added.
By winning, LMAX Exchange took the maximum 17 points available by also winning the Ocean Sprint (an extra two points) and Scoring Gate (an extra three points) and will also regain its overall lead in the Clipper 2015-16 Race.
As teams finish in Sydney, they will turn their focus to the highly anticipated Boxing Day classic – Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – which starts December 26.
Finishing order to date:
1. LMAX Exchange
2. GREAT Britain
4. Mission Performance
7. Visit Seattle
The Race Office will be updating the estimated times of arrival as the teams get closer to Sydney. Click here to stay up to date.
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 fourth race began December 1 and takes the fleet on three legs within Australia: Albany to Sydney, Sydney to Hobart, Hobart to Whitsundays… a total of 5,105 miles. The leg to Sydney is expected to take around 11-14 days to complete with an arrival window of December 12-15.
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.