Clipper Race: Arrivals continuing
Published on November 10th, 2019
(November 10, 2019; Day 18) – A beautiful sunset welcomed in local boy David ‘Wavy’ Immelman and his team GoToBermuda as they crossed the finish line at 17:26:58 in ninth place. In honour of their Captonian Skipper, the crew were adorned with ‘Wavy’ inspired mustaches as they arrived into the V&A Waterfront, cheered on by one of the loudest crowds of the arrival window so far in race 3 of the 2019-20 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
As part of the northerly pack in the initial stages, Imagine your Korea took the slightly longer route, but its reward was three bonus scoring gate points which will be added to the five points for seventh place.
Says David ‘Wavy’ Immelman: “The race was brilliant, not as much Spinnaker as I thought there was going to be but the crew handled the weather, even the worst of it. We successfully went through the first low pressure system and then thought we would go north and through the top of the second one to get an advantage.
“But as it was the guys who stayed in the middle of the course did well, those at the bottom didn’t and those at the top came in the middle. It was a hard race, lots of 40 knots plus upwind, the crew were brilliant they handled it well and so did the boat.”
For crew member Gerry Glover, crossing the finish line in Cape Town is the end of a four year adventure. After supporting her husband Greg during his circumnavigation in the 2017-18 edition she decided to take up the challenge herself and has raced over 10,000 nautical miles from London to Cape Town.
She said: “I’m really pleased that I’ve done it, if you said to me eighteen months ago that this is where I would be, I just wouldn’t have thought it would be possible. So I have my Skipper and Fabian to thank for getting me here. They have been amazing and have really backed and supported me.”
She added: “And I got to drive across the finish line. It was very special because this was it, this is the closing door. It was a really cool way to finish, I’m lucky really lucky.”
After 3,555 nautical miles mere minutes separated Imagine your Korea and Seattle who took seventh and eighth place respectively in Race 3: The Spinlock South Atlantic Showdown.
Mike Surridge, Skipper of Imagine your Korea said: “It’s absolutely fantastic, really nice to receive such a warm welcome after a tough South Atlantic crossing, with three low pressure systems. Very pleased to be here.”
South African crew member, Rob Stewart, a 62 year old Farmer from Durban, celebrated sailing into his home country with his friends and family looking on: “We had some really bad conditions, especially last night. It was really trying but we stuck through it as a team.
“I served in the South African Navy but have never sailed into my home country before. It is pretty special to be coming home. The welcome was unbelievable, and having the people on the quay was fantastic. Fourteen of my family are here, so I’m looking forward to seeing them.”
Seattle appeared to opt for the most direct route for Race 3, shadowing the rhumb line. During the middle stages of the race this paid off seeing them top of the leaderboard for days in a row. The team also managed to perfectly position itself for the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint covering the distance in the fastest time to add three bonus points to its overall tally.
Seattle AQP, Lynsday Barnes, explained: “Our decision mainly, was to stick to the rhumb line. Often the shortest distance does the best and that is what we aimed for.
“Staying with the rhumb line brought us favourable wind in the early stages. We made a bad decision to go south and got really hit by one low, but the fact that we got back from it meant we were in a brilliant position for the Ocean Sprint, which we won. In the later stages, we were pushed north and had to deal with a technical difficulty on board but all sorted and very happy to be in Cape Town.”
Timothy Morgan, a circumnavigator on board described the conditions and how he felt during Race 3: “I wasn’t expecting this race to be so full on. It took me a few days to get my head around it and then it was such an adrenaline rush.”
On winning maximum points in the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint he said: “We absolutely flew in the Ocean Sprint. We have some really great helms on our team, the boat was flying for days, surfing down waves at 20+ knots. It’s brilliant when the boat starts vibrating! I look forward to more of that in the Southern Ocean.”
WTC Logistics took one of the most southerly routes out of the entire fleet, taking them down into the Roaring Forties for a serious stint of Race 3. In the final stages, coming up from the south, this decision has paid dividends. The team were in a position to undertake Seattle and also hold off Imagine your Korea and GoToBermuda to take sixth place, crossing the finish line below the towering Table Mountain at 10:53:03 UTC.
On arrival into the V&A Waterfront, Skipper Mark Burkes said: “It was quite technical the first week, lots of kite work, really good fun, then the second ten days were much harder and gave the crew a good feeling and full respect of the Southern Ocean.
“We went down to about 42 degrees south. It was our plan all along to take the southery route. But the breeze wasn’t where we thought it was going to be but we decided to stay there. After that we ended up getting caught right in what was probably the breeziest sector of the first front. We saw a proper southern ocean storm which was up to 75 knots and averaged 60 knots for five hours.
On WTC Logistics highest placing to date, Mark continued: “We’ve placed higher in every race and are really pleased about this one because it was part of a plan.” The WTC Logistics team will see six points added to the overall leaderboard, more than doubling its current race points. And this could see it move above its closest rivals.
Operations Director of WTC Logistics, Anthony Clarke has flown out to Cape Town to welcome the crew after a tough leg. He said: “I am here as a surprise for them. They think I am back in the UK but I am here to show my support and to say thanks for the amazing job they have been doing this leg.”
On the conditions during their 17 days of racing, crew member Charles Gardner said: “It was pretty challenging. I expected something tough but this was crazy. Very much a contrast with the sun here in Cape Town. We had a real beast of a couple of days at sea but it was cracking.
“Working on the foredeck at night in 70 knot winds was pretty tough, dropping sails, raising sails to adjust to rapidly changing sailing conditions. It was exciting and nerve-wracking and I was glad to get through it and looking forward to the next race.”
For the estimated arrival times, click here.
The 11 teams set off on October 23 for the second leg of the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race, referred to as Race 3: Spinlock South Atlantic Showdown, which takes the fleet 3555nm from Punta del Este, Uruguay to Cape Town, South Africa.The fleet is due to arrive in Cape Town between November 7 and 11.
About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race:
The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors.
Held biennially, the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race gets underway September 1 for the fleet of eleven identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. This 12th edition has attracted 688 crew representing 43 nationalities for the 41,000+ nm course. The race finishes on August 8.
The course is divided into 8 legs and 15 individual races, with some of the crew in for the entire circumnavigation while others will do individual legs. The team having the best cumulative score over the entire course will win the Clipper Race Trophy.
The Clipper 2019-20 Race Route:
The fleet departs from London, UK to Portimão, Portugal; across the Atlantic to Punta del Este, Uruguay; the South Atlantic to Cape Town, South Africa; across the Southern Ocean’s Roaring Forties to Fremantle, Western Australia; around to the Whitsundays on the east coast of Australia, back into the Northern Hemisphere to China where teams will race to Qingdao, via Sanya and Zhuhai; across the mighty North Pacific to Seattle, USA; to New York via the famous Panama Canal; to Bermuda and then it’s a final Atlantic crossing to Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland; before arriving back to London as fully proven ocean racers.
Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race