Clipper Race: Twelve Teams in the Barn
Published on February 17th, 2016
(February 17, 2016) – Following a challenging 27 day race of endurance from Airlie Beach, Australia, in which Clipper Round the World Yacht Race crew faced a vast range of weather conditions, Derry~Londonderry~Doire arrived victorious to a massive crowd of waiting spectators and media in Da Nang, Vietnam today, marking the end of Race 7, The Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race.
The win marks the Northern Irish entry’s long-awaited first victory of the 14-stage Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, the only race of its kind that exists for amateur sailors. Garmin came second, also recording its best finish to date, and GREAT Britain came third, with the rest of the 12-strong Clipper Race fleet also arriving into Vietnam throughout the remainder of the day.
Stepping off the yacht at the Han River Port to a special Vietnamese arrival ceremony, which included lines of drummers, flag bearers and special Vietnamese wreaths, all conducted in front of a huge scrum of national media, Skipper Daniel Smith proclaimed: “It feels fantastic to finally be standing on the top of the podium, and this has been an especially huge win. It was a really demanding race, both mentally and physically.
“We led this race from the early stages and all the crew worked tirelessly on board to firstly defend, then extend our lead, and finally defend it again over the rest of the fleet. We were constantly looking over our shoulder as the eleven teams behind pushed hard to try and catch us. The competition has been really hard to beat, but now that it is over and we are finally standing here in Da Nang as the winners, it feels absolutely brilliant and we’re all very happy to be celebrating the result of our hard work.”
From a fast, downwind sprint in scorching 40+ degree heat as teams headed north from Australia, out of the Doldrums, through the tropics and across the Equator line for the second and final time; to winds that gusted over 50 knots in lumpy swells, plus uncomfortable upwind conditions and then dying winds in the final stages; the race to Vietnam really threw it all at the amateur Clipper Race crew.
On top of the twelve points awarded for a first place finish, Derry~Londonderry~Doire also won the Ocean Sprint and were the second team through the Scoring Gate, so collect a massive 16 points in total. Sitting in third place in the overall standings, Skipper Daniel added confidently:
“There will be some more great results to come from Derry~Londonderry~Doire over the coming races so watch this space.”
After finally pipping long term rival GREAT Britain to second place, Garmin Skipper Ash Skett said: “Yet again we were battling with GREAT Britain, for quite a number of days and was always visible on our tracker. They did have the edge on us to begin with and north of the Equator we had quite a few miles to make up, but we pushed the boat hard and made up the ground. It still took us right up to the end of the race to squeeze out the extra miles but I think we had a slightly more favourable wind as we were coming back north.
“We played the tacking angles quite spot on and overtook GREAT Britain on the second to last day so we were absolutely thrilled with all the effort we put in. We just refused to give up and I’m proud of all the team for that. Losing out to them repeatedly was starting to feel like a curse so I’m pleased we have finally broken it!”
GREAT Britain came third and also picked up an additional three points for being the first team through the Scoring Gate early in the race, bringing the team’s total points awarded to 13. GREAT Britain sits second place in the overall Clipper 2015-16 Race standings, six points behind leader LMAX Exchange.
GREAT Britain Skipper Peter Thornton said: “This race was a lot tougher than we expected. After spending the first two weeks going downwind on the same course, it then all changed when we turned south, off the coast of Taiwan and then had to endure some really big swells and tough upwind slogs. We battled with Garmin almost the entire way and were under a mile apart at the end so of course we are slightly disappointed we didn’t finish higher but I really am very proud of how the crew coped in this long, tiring test of endurance.”
Da Nang is hosting the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race for the first time ever, and also has a Da Nang – Viet Nam team in the race, led by Australian Skipper Wendy Tuck. Arriving in the only South East Asian stopover of the 2015-16 race, the amateur crew have now raced more than half way of their 40,000 mile, eleven month-long circumnavigation. Along the way the crew has already visited Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Albany (Western Australia), Sydney and Airlie Beach (Queensland).
Under the backdrop of the Marble Mountains and surrounded by beautiful sandy beaches, Da Nang is a vibrant city shaping itself as a centre of culture, tourism and events. Its success to date has earned it the title of Tripadvisor 2015 Top Destination on the Rise.
The third largest city in Vietnam, Da Nang, is rich in history and culture. As a first time Clipper Race Team Sponsor and Host Port, Da Nang is using its Clipper Race sponsorship to promote the city, its people and the Vietnamese culture to the race’s international audience, in order to open up trade and enhance tourism awareness and social development for the region.
The race positions for Race 7: The Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race are as follows:
1st – Derry~Londonderry~Doire (+ 2 Ocean Sprint + 2 Scoring Gate points)
2nd – Garmin
3rd – GREAT Britain (+ 3 Scoring Gate points)
4th – LMAX Exchange
5th – Qingdao (+ 1 Scoring Gate point)
6th – Da Nang – Viet Nam
7th – ClipperTelemed+
8th – IchorCoal
9th – PSP Logistics
10th – Unicef
11th – Mission Performance
12th – Visit Seattle
To see the overall Clipper 2015-16 Race table go to http://clipperroundtheworld.com/race/standings
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 fleet departed on January 18 from Whitsundays, Australia for the two-part 6,985 mile course that stops in Da Nang, Vietnam before restarting on February 27 and continuing to Qingdao, China.
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.