GREAT Britain has crossed the finish line into Albany, Western Australia ahead of Henri Lloyd to clinch its second consecutive win, following a dramatic and close fought 5000 miles race in a challenging Leg through the Southern Ocean from Cape Town, South Africa in the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race.
GREAT Britain crossed the line at 13.32:48 local time (UTC+8). Henri Lloyd crossed the finish line 27 minutes later in front of Albany Waterfront Marina at 13:59 local time with crowds cheering on the teams in front of the breakwater.
GREAT Britain Skipper Simon Talbot celebrated the win with his crew and will also be awarded the Kinjarling Cup by the City of Albany. He said: “That was so emotional I had tears in my eyes as we crossed the finish line. We are absolutely delighted as it was such a tough race and we really didn’t expect to win.
“We had our fair share of dramas, particularly when we were knocked down by a big wave and crew morale took a hit, but we picked up the pace again. The crew is a winning crew and really knows how to perform.
"In the last 48 hours there has been just three miles between us and Henri Lloyd, and after a squall we did a double manoeuvre and managed to stay ahead until the finish.”
The close finish followed a particularly brutal and dramatic Southern Ocean crossing. Early on in the race, two boats had to divert and medevac off injured crew after exceptionally strong wind speeds with gusts in excess of 90 miles per hour lashed the fleet, providing dramatic surfs and towering waves as it headed south through the Indian Ocean’s Agulhas Current into the Roaring Forties of the Southern Ocean. Every two to three days, the yachts were hit by new low pressure systems which made for an epic and particularly challenging Leg.
Henri Lloyd Skipper Eric Holden is defending his team’s position at the top of the overall leader board and kept up the pressure to the very end.
He commented: “It’s been a very challenging but rewarding race. Everyone feels like they have achieved a real accomplishment.
“It was a close battle with GREAT Britain, and when a squall hit two days ago and they gybed away, our kite got doused which slowed us down and they got away and we couldn’t catch them. To win, you risk equipment damage and we have none so are really happy.”