Gold Coast Australia wins Race 13 into Derry-Londonderry - 29 June 2012
Crossing the finish line off Greencastle on the north Irish coast at 0237 GMT this morning, Gold Coast Australia secured its eleventh win in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race after a 2,350 mile tough upwind battle across the North Atlantic.
In the early hours of the morning the Australian entry made its way from the finish line at Greencastle, County Donegal, through Lough Foyle before arriving into Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland this morning where hundreds of spectators awaited them.
Upon arrival, Tasmanian skipper, Richard Hewson said, “The worst part for us as a team was the lack of sleep and we didn’t see sunshine for about two weeks. It was all worth it though as we had head winds behind us the whole way up here and before we knew it we were in Northern Ireland being welcomed by a flotilla of ships. Incredible!”
Reflecting on the tough conditions of the North Atlantic, Richard continued, “As tropical storm ‘Chris’ developed, the tough conditions really tried to batter the fleet, but I saw it as an opportunity for us to take advantage of the strong winds and head to the south. Once we managed that, we put the kite up and we were flying along ahead of the rest of the fleet, especially those who chose to go to the north."
Singapore is expected to finish in the next few hours, with the rest of the fleet still fighting the final miles to secure the best possible finish in this tough final ocean crossing.
Despite bad luck early on in the race, diverting to gain medical attention for an injured crew member, Qingdao managed to win the Ocean Sprint overnight, subject to verification by the Race Committee. The Chinese entry completed the sprint in 11 hours 38 minutes 09 seconds, beating De Lage Landen’s time by just under 20 minutes, securing them a vital additional point.
Welcome to Yorkshire currently remains in third place, while Geraldton Western Australia played its 24 hour Stealth Mode card at midnight, in a final tactical battle, hiding from its competitors until midnight tonight.
The rest of the fleet is expected in Derry-Londonderry over the weekend with the final yacht arrival expected Monday afternoon. Keep an eye on the website for the latest arrival times.