Clipper Race teams reflect on Race 12 Spirit of Jamaica Chase performances

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The Clipper Race teams are reflecting on their Race 12 Spirit of Jamaica Chase performance after their arrival into the Caribbean island from Panama.

Pete Stirling, skipper of Jamaica Get All Right, said it had been a frustrating race, coming in tenth into the yacht’s home port after it took an early tack out east to lay the course for Jamaica.

He said: “We couldn’t get back on track so we took a bigger tack out east and we did actually get a nicer wind angle all the way into Jamaica that way. We went east at about the right sort of time but we came back west again. We should have committed better.

“We were in last place for a while but we managed to get ahead of Mission Performance and Invest Africa which was some sort of reward. Into the finish it looked like we could have caught Qingdao and Derry~LondonDerry~Doire but they just got in ahead of us.”

Team Garmin skipper Jan Ridd said the team was very close to getting its first podium place, coming in fourth. “I thought we were going to make it and we just had to put one tack in. It didn't quite happen but we’ll keep on trying. The team is getting better and more confident with each leg so we’ll keep trying.  Hopefully in New York we’ll be on the podium,” he added.

Sean McCarter, skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, which finished in ninth place, said Race 12 was a lot tougher than expected.

“Tactically there two options you could take, we made the mistake of not really committing to either one and that shows in our result.”

Gareth Glover, skipper of Qingdao, which finished eighth overall, said he headed out east but couldn’t hold as good a line as GREAT Britain or Switzerland could heading north so went west back into the main pack putting it in a bad position to finish the race.

Olly Cotterell, skipper of OneDLL, which finished in seventh, said: “Tactically we made a bad choice and went on the wrong side of the racecourse. Normally we’d expect to be able to keep up with Henri Lloyd but they managed to walk away from us, as did Old Pulteney. We’ll be spending a lot of time in Jamaica to work out what’s changed and to try and get our boat back on form.”

PSP Logistics skipper Chris Hollis said he was delighted his team managed to get back in the top half of the fleet in sixth.

“We really stuck to our guns with our plans. We managed to stay a little more on course than the leading boats did during the last day and they had to tack out of the bay and we continued on and managed to get in front of three boats, so we were pretty happy with that.”

Patrick Van der Zijden, skipper of Old Pulteney, which finished in fifth, said: “We were in first and second place for a long time and then at the end we had the wind against us a bit too much unfortunately and ended up in fifth position.

“In this short race, upwind close hauling with not too little wind, every little course deviation can slow the boat down or bring it to the wrong direction, which can mean a lot of extra work.”

Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance, which finished in eleventh, said it was probably the most fickle winds the team had seen in the race since London for the last 16 hours.

“Before I’ve been known to go off on my own in the not so popular direction. This time I decided to stick with the fleet but it didn’t really work out on this occasion.

“The crew did brilliantly. Everyone was digging deep all the time and in true Mission Performance style, everyone is still in very good spirits.”

Rich Gould, skipper of Invest Africa, which came in in twelfth for the last two races, said it was tough having two very poor results back to back.

“It’s very easy to maintain a very good high morale when you are performing well but it’s definitely had an effect on the team and it is something we’re going to need to address before we move on to the next race.

“The boats we were trying to stay alongside were managing to sail higher and faster. It certainly wasn’t for a lack of trying and a lack of effort but we weren’t able to match that.”

To read more about the podium finish, click here.