OneDLL was the tenth boat to arrive at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center this morning in Qingdao, China, after completing what has been described as the toughest part of the Clipper 2013-14 Race so far. Jamaica Get All Right arrived a few hours later, leaving just PSP Logistics to complete the 12-strong racing fleet.
The sun was shining brightly as OneDLL paraded past the trademark skyline of Qingdao after completing Race 9.1 with the third fastest elapsed time to the Shanghai waypoint of 5 days 16 hours 54 minutes and 14 seconds. Skipper Olly Cotterell, was overwhelmed by the welcome from the crowd as he reflected on the challenges his team faced on the way to Qingdao.
“The race was really tough, short sharp seas and very cold at times. The boat was slamming making life very difficult on board. We expected it, but actually going through it day after day was a different thing. When you think about competing in this leg in the pub it’s one thing, but when you’re actually out there it’s a whole different ball game.”
The Isle of Wight based skipper added, “I am extremely proud of these guys, I expected nothing less from them but they really lived up to all my expectations on this race; they demonstrated what a close family they really are.”
Crowds gathered again later in the afternoon in anticipation of getting a glimpse of Jamaica Get All Right. Pete Stirling who skippered Jamaica Lightning bolt in the Clipper 2009-10 Race was pleased to be back in China’s sailing capital.
“I’m feeling great to be here. You always get a fantastic welcome here in Qingdao I was here in 2010 and I think it is even bigger than it was then. They certainly know how to put on a good show.”
Pete added, “It’s been tough getting here; it’s been a long race from Singapore with lots of trials and tribulations to deal with. Even the last 200 miles were tough to deal with, we had 30-40 knot head winds even gusting to 50 knots which was frustrating as we just wanted to get here and the weather was holding us up. The crew are all very happy to be here, after all of the challenges we have faced it has made the team even stronger, they have formed a very strong bond. “
Race 10, the 5,800 mile race across the mighty Pacific Ocean from Qingdao, China, to San Francisco, USA will start on Sunday 16 March.