Race 13 - Day 6
Crew Diary - Derry-Londonderry to Liverpool
27 July

Susan Went
Susan Went
Team Liverpool 2018
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What a Momentous day today has been !!!

It will take time for the reality and more importantly the implications to sink in; but today at 10.32 UTC Liverpool 2018 crossed the finish line of Leg 8 Race 13, the final long leg of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race. All that remains at 8.00 local time tomorrow is the 20 mile sprint finish down the Mersey to the finish line off Albert Dock in our home port of Liverpool.

To say it has been an emotional day is an understatement. We have led Race 13 for most of the way, racing and working hard for every single mile and in the last 24 hours we finally saw Quindao inch past us to take our place at the front of the fleet. During the night we fought hard to reverse that position and to stay ahead of Garmin as she also started closed in; hour after hour we sailed hard, changing sails and trimming through changing winds and at each way point. Although we couldn't keep up with Quindao we slightly increased the distance between us and Garmin.

At today's 7.00 UTC watch hand over we were just over 30 miles from the finish and only 2.2 miles ahead of Garmin. At 8.00 UTC we made our final turn to the finish line, we dropped the spinnaker and headed for the line under white sails, our best point of sail. We were in second and we knew we had a great chance against Garmin who was now just over a mile behind - the fight was well and truly on – but we knew it was ours. Skipper was on the helm, port watch was crewing, starboard watch came on deck and sat on the high side for the the last two hours of the Race of their Lives. We crossed the finish line at 10.32 in second place only one minute ahead of Garmin!

It has been an exhilarating day, muscles have been stretched, breath has been held, finger nails have been bitten and tongues haven't always been bitten.......but despite the tensions, evolutions have been slick, no mistakes have been made and everyone has worked as a team to ensure that Team Liverpool showed what we are made of. We have smiled a lot today. When we crossed the line there were cheers, tears, hugs and kisses. We knew we could do it. We wanted First. We got Second – we are ecstatic and we are on the podium in Liverpool.

After we finished, team Liverpool 2018 stayed on the finish line to cheer in the next boats, Garmin first, followed by Unicef, Seattle, PSP Logistics, Sanya Serenity Coast and HotelPlanner.com, everyone receiving a Liverpool welcome; three cheers from the crew and loud blasts from Skipper on the fog horn!!! Many laughs, many photos and many more smiles all round.

Tomorrow brings the final sprint down the Mersey– we are hungry for that First, we are ready to go, we are on our way home to Liverpool. Watch this space.

After that we return to our other lives. We all return with new skills, new experiences, several return as circumnavigators, members of a very special and select group. We all return with respect for the ocean, the sea, respect for our beautiful pink boat and respect for each-other.

We all probably return as different people.

Did we all achieve our own personal goals ? Only each of us will know.

Did we do something amazing - Yes

Are we proud of every single member of team Liverpool - Yes

It has been the Race of our Lives.

With thanks to every single member of Team Liverpool 2018 on and off the boat.

Thanks to the fantastic crew of Leg 8, to watch leader James and to all on port watch, to skipper Lance and the on shore Clipper team.

This will be my final blog and probably the final crew blog of the race – I am absolutely delighted to be writing it.

Thanks to my friends and family, and see you very soon xxx