Old Pulteney, Switzerland and Team Garmin celebrate arrival into San Francisco

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Old Pulteney, Switzerland and Team Garmin have all arrived at South Beach Yacht Club, San Francisco welcomed by crowds of fellow crew, friends and family and locals from the Bay area. 

Patrick van der Zijden, skipper of the Old Pulteney yacht was pleased with his team’s performance across the Pacific Ocean through some tough conditions.

“The low is always challenging, our kite wrapped around the forestay and we had to cut it down and we ripped it.

“It’s pretty bad. It’s a long time at sea and of course the wind holes can test the crew’s patience while you wait for the wind to fill in. Today we had no wind at all for the last 12 hours; it’s very hard to keep focused in those last few miles in such conditions.

“Strategically we are very glad of our position, we didn't go too far north which meant that we didn’t get stuck in very big winds, we experienced winds around 40-50 mph, gusts of 70 mph only once. It was still a challenge but not too scary.”

Crossing the line in eighth place was Switzerland, skippered by Vicky Ellis.

“We had a couple of very good storms crossing the ocean, but we expected more storms given previous years, and we think the weather was pretty kind to us,” explained Vicky after arriving in California.

“The race was very long but the weather conditions were so variable and changed all the time, which helped. The weather did a lot of motivating - there was incredible variety.

“We had everything from sustained storm periods to zero wind. We had sunshine through the pelting rain and big waves through to flat seas. We had every type of condition and used every type of sail in the wardrobe, which kept everyone on their toes.

Team Garmin crossed the finish line at 01:05 UTC under the Golden Gate Bridge with skipper Jan Ridd pleased to reach dry land after a frustrating last few days of Race 10.

Skipper Jan Ridd said: “It was a long race but it was not as bad as the last time I crossed the Pacific in the 2009-10 Clipper Race. It was not as bad as it could have been. I took the routing a lot further south than most of the boats which kept us out of the worst of the weather. 

“We had a problem early on in the race and we ripped one of our spinnakers which set us back 36 hours. It was hard to keep the crew motivated during that time. It’s not like a game of football or tennis, you have to keep them going for 4 or 5 weeks. 

“Morale is good. There are a few things that need to be sorted, but we will sort that out on the next leg. I have a better feel for the team and the boat now, so I have got an idea of how to move it forward. There is a little bit of team dynamic that need to be changed which can easily be sorted by changing around watches. There are practices that can be streamlined. I don’t like this position, I was on the podium a lot during the 2009-10 race. This team is more than capable, they need to understand what it takes to win.”

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