Henri Lloyd clinches first win in Race 5 of Clipper Race

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Henri Lloyd crossed the finish line into Sydney, Australia at 0315 local time (UTC+11), claiming its fourth consecutive podium result and it’s first win in the Clipper 2013-14 Race.

The team celebrated its win with Champagne on arrival to Rushcutters Bay which further consolidates the teams overall lead in the race series.

Eric Holden, who was voted Sailor of the Month by Sail Canada last month, said of his team’s victory:

"This win has been a long time coming; we’ve been the bridesmaid for the last couple of races so it’s nice to do one better and win Race 5 into Sydney, Australia. People have been asking me if I would be happy winning the overall race without actually winning one of the races in the series. My answer is always yes, but it feels so much better to win a race then come second or third."

“What’s been interesting about this race has been the mixture of offshore and inshore racing. With the interchangeable weather it meant a lot more sail changes and a lot more work for the crew. Our strategy was to take it more conservatively and when our chance came we were ready to push hard and make it count.” Added Holden.

Eric and his team used the 2150 mile race from Albany, Western Australia; via the Southern Ocean as further training ahead of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race the entire Clipper Race fleet will take part in on 26 December.

You can view photos of the arrival here.

OneDLL secured second place after crossing the Race 5 finish line at 1920 UTC (0620 local time).

"We had a good start in Albany and that continued with competitive sailing with Henri Lloyd and Derry~Londonderry~Doire," explained skipper Olly Cotterell. 

The third podium was taken by Chinese entry Qingdao which crossed the finish line at 0911 local time (2211 UTC); provisionally securing a podium position overall. Skipper Gareth Glover said: “We took a mid fleet position and as the race started to play out, it turned out we were in a really good position. We got through the Scoring Gate with maximum points and we had a good position for the Ocean Sprint, and that has hopefully really paid off.

"We had to go on the inside of Henri Lloyd up the east Australian coast, which slowed us a little but we are really happy with our second position. Everyone has worked really hard to stay at the top of the fleet. We are now very excited about the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race and it’s a great chance for amateur sailors to show off their round the world skills. Sailing down the bottom of Tasmania, it was good to see the conditions."

Switzerland came in in fourth place at 0256 UTC, 1356 local time. Skipper Vicky Ellis said: "Derry~Londonderry~Doire was on our tail for the last 24 hours, and that pushed us harder as they put the pressure on and we had a tacking duel. When we came out of Stealth Mode, we were in a  much better position than we thought we would be, after battling with big squalls for 24 hours which was a big challenge and some of the worst conditions I have ever sailed in. At times, Derry~Londonderry~Doire was right in sight and that kept everyone focused. The last 24 hours was really tough and tense." 

Derry~Londonderry~Doire finished at 0320 UTC, 1420 local time.

The remainder of the fleet will arrive into the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia over the next two days. You can see the latest ETAs here.

The fleet’s progress can be tracked here.