Clipper11-12 Round The World Race :Den Helder to Southampton Race Finish day 1
Thursday, 19 July 2012
Fight to the finish expected in Clipper Race as last sprint starts
The world’s longest ocean race is drawing to a close and after a great stopover in Den Helder, on the most northern coast of the Netherlands, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet today started Race 15 to Southampton at 11:00 GMT.As the fleet contended with fierce winds of 20-25 knots, De Lage Landen was first to cross the line in its home port, closely followed by Gold Coast Australia and Singapore.
After more than 40,000 miles at sea, the Clipper Race fleet of ten identical 68-foot racing yachts, crewed by non-professional sailors from all walks of life, will have a nail-biting fight to the end as the teams battle for those final valuable points.
With just one point separating current third placed Singapore and fourth place De Lage Landen on the overall leader board, it will be a fight to the finish line as the final podium position in Southampton is still to be decided.
Gold Coast Australia is now unbeatable in first place and Visit Finland is secure in second place. Further down the leader board it remains tight to call, with several teams within just a few points of each other, all the teams energy will be focused on climbing to the top half of the table.
Mixed weather conditions await the fleet in Race 15 and ahead of today’s departure, De Lage Laden skipper Stuart Jackson said, “The wind is going to be fairly strong to start with and then ease off as we make our way through the North Sea and back down the English Channel to the Solent. We are going to try and get a good jump right from the very start to get out ahead and lead the pack.”
The Clipper Race fleet will arrive in Southampton this Sunday, 22 July to a huge celebration after 51 weeks of ocean racing, visiting 15 ports of call on six continents. This will complete the world’s longest ocean race, seeing around 500 people from all walks of life celebrating their remarkable achievement after nearly twelve months at sea.
Edinburgh Inspiring Capital
RACE 15 - DEPARTURE REACTION - by Piers Dudin
I’m feeling excited, Race 15 is the shortest race we do in the series and in some ways it’s the most significant, it is quite an emotional race for all the round the world crew and for the ‘leggers’ coming home.
Any coastal race is quite tricky, the wind is going to be variable and unfortunately for us it’s not going to account for a lot given the points we have, but were certainly going out for one last crack at a podium position. It will be nice sailing in familiar waters again and homecoming for the crew members; they have achieved so much so it’s going to be a pretty special time for all the yachts.
I’ve learnt a lot and it’s been great sailing with the crew members on board and hopefully I’ve been able to give them something a little different compared to their other skipper. We’ve had some bad results and some good results but that’s yacht racing so were still going to push it all the way to the finish.
RACE 15 - DEPARTURE REACTION - by Gareth Glover
It’s going to be a great feeling arriving back into the Solent after being away from home so long during this challenge. We are going to push just as hard on this race, just as we did on the last race; there are still places to be had in the last few miles to race so it should be pretty exciting.
We’ve not done very well in some of the previous races and took a respectable fourth place in Race 14, which boost us up the overall leader board into sixth place. Fifth position is still a possibility but we would have to beat Welcome to Yorkshire by seven or eight places. This would mean we would have to win the last race, and Welcome to Yorkshire would need to finish in tenth place for us to have any chance of that happening; but stranger things have happened!
Looking at the weather it looks like we are going to have a good 24 hours lashing with four to five knots of wind on the head. As we go round the waypoint towards Dover back to the Solent the wind is going to drop off completely, so I think this whole race is going to be won in the first 12 hours. That’s what I’ll be pushing the crew towards; no watches just straight in there and then after 12 hours they’ll have plenty of time to sleep!
Race Finish in Southampton is going to be amazing, especially as I didn’t realise just how many friends and family were following us. I’ve had quite a lot of emails from people coming from all over the country to visit us so it will be quite emotional to see them all again.
Welcome to Yorkshire
RACE 15 - DEPARTURE REACTION - by Rupert Dean
It’s quite a surreal experience, thinking back you ponder where did that year go? It’s gone so quickly but it is the last race, it’s an important race and a race we want to do really well in for everyone on board and our sponsor Welcome to Yorkshire.
I think it’s going to be a big challenge, the weather conditions are going to change considerably with heavy winds to start in the north west and then lighter winds. The crew will have to really focus keeping the boat sailing sufficiently when it could be overpowered to keeping it moving sufficiently when it could be underpowered, there is going to be a lot of tides to look out for which will have a big impact on how well we do.
We are currently in fifth place on the overall leader band its mathematically impossible for us to get fourth, the next team behind us is New York at eight points behind and it’s not impossible that they could end up taking fifth place, so we’ve got to take it very seriously. We’ve always tried to sail our own race from the start in Southampton last year so I don’t want to lock in a dog fight with New York at the expense of good position but it is important that we do well.
I think every skipper in this race learns a huge amount, you learn a lot about the Clipper 68 as a boat, you learn a lot about yourself and your crew, the biggest challenge you will face in this race is each other as was pointed out at Race Start by Clipper Race Director Jonathan Bailey. The sailing is secondary to the human experience so we have learnt a lot and come a long way.
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Gold Coast Australia
RACE 15 - DEPARTURE REACTION - by Richard Hewson
Everyone’s very excited to start Race 15, it’s a very short coastal race with forecast strong winds to start with and light winds towards the end. Gold Coast Australia generally doesn’t go that well in light airs but the crew members have done a lot of work on the boat over the last few days like throwing out stuff that we don’t need so we hoped to have lightened the boat. The crew will try really hard like always and we’ll see if we can beat the boats that work better in light winds.
It would be unbelievable to get 15 podium wins out of 15 races. I’ve got a lot of family and friends that are going to be welcoming us in Southampton so it would be great to sail in first and finish the race on a good note but if we don’t, this race around the world has gone really well and I’m really proud of the crew. I’m really happy with the year that’s been and obviously we’ll try our hardest to win but it’s been a fantastic race.
Geraldton Western Australia
RACE 15 - DEPARTURE REACTION - by Juan Coetzer
I feel really happy and excited we’re going back to where it all began 12 months ago and as normal we are going to push really hard to try and get a podium position. We have New York three points ahead of us so there is all to play for to gain sixth place.
We feel pride that we have taken Geraldton Western Australia all round the world, we’ve had a few hiccups but we’ve brought everyone back. It’s really nice that crew member Jane Hitchins is joining us on this next race back into Southampton to complete her epic journey and we are looking forward to seeing her back on the boat again.
RACE 15 -DEPARTURE REACTION - by Ben Bowley
We know we can definitely beat De Lage Landen on the water as we’ve done so, many times before. We were ecstatic at our performance in Race 14, winning first place into Den Helder, which has really spurred the crew on to push themselves even harder for the final race to Southampton. The top of the leader board is so tight we’re by no means going to start being complacent now; we could easily lose our position if we don’t work hard to keep it. We’ll give it everything we have and I’m confident the crew will make me proud and deliver the result we are all desperate to achieve.
I’d like us to be the only team that managed to get past Gold Coast Australia on two occasions and I’ve got every confidence we can do it. It’s all about getting a decent start and to take charge of where the fleet is going. It could be a shortened version of the last race – with a beat to windward that will certainly mix up the fleet a little, a period of downwind sprinting and then the wind will probably switch off for a while in the final stages.
De Lage Landen
RACE 15 - DEPARTURE REACTION - by Stuart Jackson
We have a tussle going on with Singapore at the moment, it’s all good natured but when we are on the water it’s very competitive; so we’ll be pulling out all the stops. The crew members are really keen to get back up on the podium because we’ve been there for most of the race.
In Race 15 the wind is going to be fairly strong to start with and then ease off as we make our way through the North Sea and back down the English Channel to the Solent. We are going to try and get a good jump right from the very start to get out ahead and lead the pack.
RACE 15 - DEPARTURE REACTION - by Ian Conchie
It’s been an interesting stop in Holland and everyone has made it really special, it’s been great to see the locals embrace our visit.
It’s going to be an interesting start inside the Harbour; some of the previous sailing we have done has proved that it can be quite an interesting place to sail. We won’t see the deep wide oceans that we’re used too but lots of sandbanks which will continue all the way home. It will certainly be interesting but everyone is looking forward to going back to Southampton.
The crew members are fired up; we had a couple of bad results in the last year which we didn’t deserve but that’s the luck of ocean racing so it was nice to take fifth place in Race 14. Neck and neck on points with Derry-Londonderry makes it all to play for in this next race and there is no animosity between the crew at all at the moment! It will be nice to steal another place before the end so we will try to maintain the focus and push through. For Race 15 when we go through the Channel there is going to be lots of tidal gates; so it’s really a matter of keeping up every bit of speed to try and grab each advantage you can to get you home in a good position. You never know there is still that elusive podium position that we have yet to achieve on Qingdao, so let’s wait and see!
It’s going to be amazing to sail back into Southampton; I started my professional sailing career and lived there for quite a few years. I’ve got lots of friends and family travelling from all over the country to come and see us in so that will be amazing and emotional as well.
The best part of this experience has been the crew – I’ve had really good crew the whole way round, making the hard decisions easy and the whole journey a pleasure. Even when we’ve had tough times we’ve always managed to get past it and have a laugh and a joke the crew members approach has always been right and they’ve made it great fun.
RACE 15 - DEPARTURE REACTION - by Mark Light
It’s been a long year but it will come to an end pretty quickly, it’s going to be a short race so we need to get a good start. It’s the final stretch and we want to get a good position back into Southampton and we are tied on points at the moment with Qingdao. Skipper Ian Conchie is a good friend of mine and I can’t have him beat me so we’ve got to beat Qingdao.
The tides are going to play a big part tactically, we’re in for some strong tides and the wind is then going to ease off towards the end of the race so we need to get ourselves into the right position, but it’s the last race so we have to give it all we can.
We’ve sailed as hard as we could have as a team, everyone has worked incredibly hard and it isn’t easy so I am very proud of what they have achieved so far.
RACE 15 - DEPARTURE REACTION - by Olly Osborne
It has been a fantastic adventure and nearly 12 months of pretty tough racing so far; it’s been a hell of a journey. The podium finish is everyone’s dream so it has definitely been a dream come true and we will be doing all we can to keep a tight grip on our current second place position on the overall leader board.
On board Visit Finland we have a slightly laid back style and we try and get everybody involved in all the jobs, whether it is working in the galley, driving at the wheel or going aloft in the heavy weather. All the crew members get stuck in and we will certainly be taking this attitude all the way to the finish in Southampton.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 July 2012 )