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The final team to complete the Clipper Race line-up in front of Table Mountain was given an enthusiastic welcome by the rest of the fleet this afternoon.

The Qingdao crew were in high spirits despite a tactical decision to stay north for the scoring gate resulting in them being left behind by competitors that went further south to catch better wind conditions.

Skipper Gareth Glover remained philosophical. He said: We thought we would try something different rather than stay with the rest of the pack. I’m sure if we had stayed with the other teams we would have definitely finished in the top five and maybe even a podium position. It’s not all about chasing the boats though, we wanted to try a different tactic like we did in Leg 1 which paid off for us where we won a podium position. It’s just a shame it didn’t work out for us on this occasion. 

"The crew were fantastic, even when we had really light winds and they could have felt disheartened or frustrated they didn’t. Now it’s just a case of taking a little bit of time to rest and enjoy Cape Town before we prepare for Race 4 to Albany, Western Australia and take on the power of the Southern Ocean."

Chinese round-the-world crew member Vicky Song believes the team’s future prospects are good despite this setback: “If we had followed the rest of the fleet we would probably have done much better. We’ve learned from our mistake and I’m confident we can do much better in the next races,” said Vicky.

The crew managed to complete much of their maintenance and deep clean tasks over the last couple of days to maximise personal time in Cape Town. Qingdao agreed to an offer from race officials to accept twelfth place and one point to enable them to motor in to make best speed.