Clipper Race: Shocker ending in Qingdao

Published on March 14th, 2018

Visit Seattle, Skippered by 24-year-old British sailor Nikki Henderson, has pulled off a sensational victory in Race 8 of the thirteen stage Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, stealing the victory from PSP Logistics in the final few miles of the race to Qingdao, China.

Visit Seattle crossed the finish line off the coast of Qingdao at 00:04:11 local time on Thursday 15 March (16:04:11 UTC 14/03/2018) to complete the 1,700 nautical mile race stage from Sanya, in 10 days, 9 hours, 34 minutes and 11 seconds.

The Clipper Race competitors have once again proved that the race is never over until that finish line is crossed as anything is possible. PSP Logistics, which had led for eight successive days and were 25 nautical miles ahead at 0900 UTC, succumbed to a wind hole just 30nm from the finish line, allowing Visit Seattle to sneak up on their eastern side to take the win in this race stage, The Sailing City Qingdao Cup.

After her team crossed the finish line, Nikki said: “This reflects the hard work and determination and grit displayed by everyone on this boat – naturally a lot of luck and whilst we do feel for PSP Logistics, we can’t hide our elation.”

This is the third podium in eight races and a second victory for Visit Seattle, which went into Race 8 in third place in the overall standings, just four points behind the race leader, Sanya Serenity Coast.

The team is also yet to play its Joker Card, a bonus tactic, which each team has the ability to ‘play’ for one of the thirteen race stages, doubling the number of race points earned in that particular race..

Around 200 people from all walks of life and representing 22 different nationalities are taking part in Race 8, which is part of the fifth of eight Legs which make up the Clipper 2017-18 Race’s global route.

Commenting from on board the boat shortly after finishing, crew member Chrissie Laming, is a photographer who joined the Visit Seattle team for Leg 5 and 6. She says: “I am in total shock and am completely blown away at managing to come in at first position – we were keeping everything crossed for second place and had been driving hard through a tough 10 days. It had always been my dream to come into Qingdao as a winner – and it’s just come true – what a lucky lady I am, and team we are!”

The result is a huge boost for the team, whose next challenge will be to race to its home port of Seattle in the 5,600 nautical mile Mighty Pacific Ocean Leg, in Leg 6 of the race which sets sail on Friday 23 March.

The current overall race leader is Sanya Serenity Coast, which finished in second place behind Visit Seattle, followed by Liverpool 2018 which completed the podium positions, whilst PSP Logistics continued to be becalmed in the wind hole it found itself in.

Five of the eight Clipper Race legs have now been completed. Since starting in Liverpool, England on 20 August last year, the eleven strong Clipper Race fleet has raced to; Punta del Este, Uruguay; Cape Town, South Africa; Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart and the Whitsundays, Australia; Sanya and now Qingdao, China.

Teams will depart for Seattle, USA, on 23 March, and continue via Panama, New York, Derry-Londonderry, before returning to Liverpool on 28 July 2018, where one team will have the honour of being crowned the Clipper 2017-18 Race Winners.

For the finish times of the fleet… click here.

Event detailsRace factsRace viewerFacebook

Beginning March 4, the final section of the Asia-Pacific Leg 5, officially known as Race 8: The Sailing City Qingdao Cup, took the fleet 1700 nm from Sanya to Qingdao in China.

Following the Qingdao Stopover, the Clipper Race fleet will depart again on March 23 for the Mighty Pacific Leg 6, a 5,600 nautical mile race across the world’s biggest and remote ocean to Seattle.

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. The race concludes in Liverpool on July 28.

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.

Race RouteRace Schedule and Miles


Source: Clipper Ventures

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