Final teams arrive into Derry-Londonderry

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Switzerland, Qingdao, Invest Africa, have arrived into Foyle Marina receiving a warm Northern Irish welcome after completing Race 14 across the Atlantic. 

The boats finished in ninth, tenth, eleventh respectively after a race which included light and fickle winds and an ice mark having to be moved south after several boats spotted growlers (small pieces of ice from icebergs).

Switzerland skipper Vicky Ellis said it had been a long and exciting race. 

“New York feels a moon ago and the challenges and excitement of the first half of the race are a distant memory.  The calm weather of the start, weaving in and out of the Gulf Stream, watching for icebergs, fast surfing towards the Scoring Gate all made for a lot of excitement. 

“The second half was a different story, the windhole that engulfed us, our plummet through the rankings and the disappointment at the Ocean Sprint, all are slowly beginning to fade from memory (let’s hope the Guinness does the rest of the work!).  But what won't fade is the memories of the team’s resolve, persistence, positivity and skill. 

"Arriving in to Derry-Londonderry on Switzerland are two local crew, Sam Tosh and Richard Greer.  As you can imagine the excitement is building!” 

Invest Africa skipper Rich Gould reflected on the last nine and a half months. “With only two races, three weeks and less than 1000 miles left of this epic adventure it’s only natural that each and every person, myself included, begins to reflect.

“All the way there has been good times and bad, but such is ocean racing and such life.  Be it in terms of a race result, a lack of wind or something else sometimes the bad has been very difficult to deal with and work through, but this just makes the good times even better.”

Gareth Glover, skipper of Qingdao, added: “What a race it was. Right from the start of this race the weather keep us guessing. Every tactical plan we made had to keep being changed and we found ourselves on the wrong side of the weather. We still had a good race by having Invest Africa close to us fighting for tenth place which kept the focus on the racing. We made gains back on the yachts in front but we just ran out of time again with the time limit being placed.”

Mission Performance will complete the fleet when it arrives in Derry-Londonderry tomorrow morning at 0800 BST.