(July 9, 2018; Day 13) – Nikki Henderson, 24, from Surrey, UK, has led her Visit Seattle team to an impressive victory in Race 12 to Derry-Londonderry, the penultimate race of the 40,000 nautical mile Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race.
Visit Seattle crossed the finish line in an area north east of the entrance to Lough Foyle at 00:21:57 UTC today to complete the 3,000 nautical mile race across the Atlantic Ocean, the fast-paced sixth and final ocean crossing of the eleven-month circumnavigation, in just over 12 days.
Victory in the race from New York to Derry-Londonderry has set up a thrilling duel for the overall Clipper Race Trophy against Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper, Wendy Tuck, 53 from Sydney, Australia, with the pair now vying to be the first female winner in the 22-year history of the Clipper Race.
“We will certainly be celebrating the result in Derry-Londonderry but we all know the job isn’t done yet,” said Henderson. “The leaderboard is very close so the final race to Liverpool will be very exciting.”
Visit Seattle was followed across the finish line by Unicef (04:32UTC) and Garmin (05:13UTC), with fourth place looking to be Qingdao’s to lose at it makes good headway towards Derry-Londonderry, despite nearest competition Dare To Lead maintaining a 1.5 knot speed over ground (SOG) advantage.
Qingdao Skipper Chris Kobusch reports: “For once the dreaded wind hole was not too bad and we made steady progress over the past 24 hours. We are now less than 30nm away from the finish, the breeze is still blowing with 10 knots from the north and it looks promising that we will arrive in Derry-Londonderry today.”
Racing is just as gripping further down the leaderboard and it will be interesting to watch how the final 200nm of Race 12 plays out for HotelPlanner.com, Sanya Serenity Coast, Nasdaq and PSP Logistics.
HotelPlanner.com, led by Derry-Londonderry local Conall Morrison, and PSP Logistics, led by Matt Mitchell, are descending upon the finish line from a northerly course, with the latter team waiting to see how well the bold northerly tactic will have paid off.
Hotelplanner.com Skipper Conall is looking forward to racing into his home port after a fast and frustrating race. He reports: “It is disappointing to see boats that we were ahead of sail in more breeze and pass us during the last couple of days mostly due to routing decisions made a week ago, that is ocean sailing for you.
“Big shout out to Skipper Matt Mitchell and the PSP Logistics team for making the bold decision and sailed a lot of extra miles to avoid this high pressure.”
Further south, the match race between Nasdaq and Sanya Serenity Coast continues and it will be down to the wire for the two teams. Nasdaq Skipper Rob Graham says: “What a tortuously slow end to the LegenDerry Race. Nasdaq has hardly moved in the past 23hrs as we drift around the wind hole under a ridge of high pressure. Sanya Serenity Coast has just appeared on AIS, so after two weeks and 3,000nm our little race-within-a-race comes down to this!”
For GREAT Britain and Liverpool 2018, which are pushing through the final 330nm and 550nm respectively, the end to Race 12 is in sight. Despite sitting in eleventh place, Liverpool 2018 has done remarkably well in making up ground on the fleet after diverting to Newfoundland, Canada, to medevac a crew member earlier in the race.
The Liverpool 2018 team also received the excellent news that it has scooped the maximum three bonus race points as the winners of the Race 12 Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint this morning. Garmin was second and picks up two points whilst third fastest team, Qingdao, picks up the final bonus point.
You can find the latest ETAs for the Clipper Race fleet’s arrival into Derry-Londonderry here.
Note: The detour reflected on the tracker by Liverpool 2018 to Newfoundland was due to an ill crew member needing medical attention.
The 11 teams began the final Leg 8 which carries the fleet across the North Atlantic from New York, USA, to Liverpool, UK, via Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland.
Leg 8 is formed of two races, with the first being the 3000nm Race 12 from USA to IRL that got underway June 26. The fleet is expected to arrive between between July 10 and 14.
Then it will be one final race, Race 13, when the teams depart July 22 to return to the UK almost a year later for the final finish on July 28.
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.
Source: Clipper Ventures