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Clipper Race: Finishing in Bermuda

Published on June 13th, 2022

(June 13, 2022) – After a short but intense race for the 2019-20 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet, the Race 12 results are starting to roll in, with Visit Sanya, China crossing the Finish Line in first, claiming the victory into Bermuda.

Aptly named Race 12: GoToBermuda, the 1,410 nautical mile long race started with an offshore Le Mans style start on June 4th from the Panama Approaches before heading through the Caribbean and onto the first-time Host Port of Bermuda.

If the Clipper Race teams were after a challenge, then Race 12 delivered with nine days of intense racing for the eleven-strong fleet, which battled through frustrating wind holes in a game of cat and mouse. Commenting on the light wind conditions through the Windward Passage in the Caribbean during the seventh day of racing, GoToBermuda team Skipper David ‘Wavy’ Immelman said, “The great drift is over, well at least I hope so, please let it be over.”

Visit Sanya sailed through the Finish Line at 01:47:25 UTC. Led by Skipper Mike Miller and First Mate Mary Vaughan-Jones, the team battled it out in an extremely close race to take the top spot, and their first win in the Clipper 2019-20 Race. This comes after taking second place in Race 2 and third in Race 9.

It is also Mike Miller’s first podium as Skipper of Visit Sanya, and in addition to the eleven points earned from the victory, the team will gain an extra two points from crossing the Scoring Gate in second.

Mark Light, Clipper Race Director said, “Huge Congratulations to Skipper Mike, AQP Mary and the whole team of Visit Sanya, China. What a tremendous result for the team after an utterly fascinating race. After 1,700nm of intense racing with so many twists and turns along the way, the team deserves all the plaudits for making a brilliant move out west and overhauling the pack to the east in the closing stages. Well Done, a fantastic result and very well deserved.”

Playing its Joker, GoToBermuda finished in second place at 04.09.33 UTC, doubling its points and claiming another consecutive podium place, and the team’s highest place in the 2019-20 edition. The team can also add an extra bonus point to its total from a third place Scoring Gate result. A fantastic and well-deserved result made even sweeter by the fact the team is sailing into its home port.

Speaking from on board after crossing the finish line, team AQP Max Rivers said, “We are really happy with the work ethic from the whole team, our result shows the effort that everyone has been putting in over the last couple of races. The improvement in the teamwork and sailing skills has been outstanding and to improve on our first podium with a second is fantastic and a real testament to the team.

“We are thrilled that this result has come in our Home Port of Bermuda and that we can celebrate the success with the island of Bermuda, thoroughly looking forward to prizegiving and exploring all that the island has to offer.”

There were celebrations all-round as home team GoToBermuda scooped second place racing into its home port today. There was a lot at stake for the GoToBermuda team, which had elected to play its Joker Card for the homecoming race. The Joker can be played only once by each team during the entire circumnavigation, doubling the team’s race points. Spurred on by their home port and their own determination, it was a gamble that would pay off for the team who will claim 20 points for second place.

As the giant game snakes and ladders unfolded on the water, tactical decisions weighed heavily on the team’s mind. For GoToBermuda, another tactical gamble to go for the Scoring Gate paid off, securing them a bonus race point for being the third team to cross the virtual gate line.

The pressure remained on right until the finish line, with race winners Visit Sanya, China, finishing less than two-and-a-half hours ahead, and third place WTC Logistics crossing the line an hour and a half afterwards.

Clinching the final podium spot for Race 12: Go To Bermuda was the WTC Logistics team. Led by 24 year old Skipper Dan Jones, and supported by AQP Ineke van der Weijden, the WTC Logistics team crossed the finish line at 05:31 UTC on Monday 13 June.

Like GoToBermuda, the WTC Logistics team had also elected to play the Joker Card for this race and will double their race points. Race 12 proved to be a big point-scoring haul for the team, who scoop three additional bonus race points for being the first to reach the Scoring Gate.

Speaking on the result from on board WTC Logistics, Dan said, “What a nail biting close quarters race. It really shows how a one design fleet, all sailed well, can be very very close. It ranged from light wind tactical maneuvers to beam reach blasting and overall I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

“We had an exciting finish as we secured third place with Punta del Este 200m behind us as we crossed the line, after battling for ten nautical miles over who would be in front, in the end we had a slightly better angle coming in which gave us the extra speed needed! I’m incredibly proud of my crew and what we have achieved together, two podiums since the restart!”

Praising and celebrating the team, Anthony Clarke, WTC Logistics, said, “Wow what a race that has been, you have had us all glued to the trackers, willing you all on during those wind holes. You all should be proud of yet another podium place, you guys never cease to surprise us with the effort you keep putting in day by day.

“I hope that the memories you will got from this leg were what you had signed up for, cannot wait to see all of the images and hear all about the Panama Canal, can only imagine what it must have been transiting such an iconic landmark.

For those of you who are leaving us on this leg, thank you for everything you have done, you have created so many memories and smiles, and hope if you guys are around you can come and join us all in either Londonderry or London.”

Crossing the finish line just seven minutes later, at 05:38 UTC, Punta del Este put on a valiant show of determination in the battle for the final podium spot. A race that came down to the final moments, the team’s grit and determination is something to be celebrated by the team and their Team Partner.

Yacht Club Punta del Este Commodore Juan Etcheverrito said, “After a rough start, we were fearful, but you proved us wrong. Giving up is never an option on the yellow beauty, and here we are, once again, celebrating! Well done Punta! Thanks and enjoy Bermuda!”

Unicef took fifth place in Race 12: GoToBermuda after crossing the finish line at 09.55 (UTC) with Zhuahai hot on the team’s heels finishing just under an hour later at 10.52 (UTC) to claim sixth place. Zhuhai also played its Joker Card in Race 12 and will double its race points.

The morning of arrivals continued with the third Chinese team, Qingdao, crossing the finish line at 11:21 UTC to secure seventh place.

Race detailsTeam listRace routeTrackerFacebook

The Clipper Round the World Yacht 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 2019-20 Clipper Race got underway September 1 for the fleet of eleven identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. As the most subscribed round the world race, the 12th edition had attracted 688 crew representing 43 nationalities for the 41,000+ nm course.

However, when the fleet arrived in Asia, the COVID-19 pandemic blocked the fleet from the planned routes in China. The 11 Clipper 70s have remained at Subic Bay Yacht Club in the Philippines since March 2020 after organizers and Race Crew were forced to return home due to pandemic restrictions, with the restart taking place in March 2022.

Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race media

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