Skippers reflect on Race 14 as they approach Derry Londonderry

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All 12 boats are on their way into Derry-Londonderry where they will receive a very warm Northern Irish welcome following their Transatlantic crossing. 

The skippers are reflecting on the extremely close finish and final denouement of Race 14 as they motor in up the River Foyle towards Foyle Marina. 

Simon Talbot, skipper of GREAT Britain, said it had been a tough race right to the bitter end, with testing conditions from the very start and really not the Atlantic crossing that any of us were expecting or hoping for. 

“Wow, what a Race Finish, the top six boats all within 10 miles off each other, who would have believed that after nearly 3,000 miles of racing! We worked tirelessly for the last 24 hours clawing back the miles from the lead boats, but in the end the time limit was reached before we could finish the job and we ended up with a respectable mid fleet placing.” 

Vicky Ellis, skipper of Switzerland, who finished in ninth, 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 and fast surfing towards the Scoring Gate all made for a lot of excitement.  

“The second half was a different story, the wind hole that engulfed us, our plummet through the rankings and the disappointment at the Ocean Sprint all are slowly beginning to fade from memory. But what won't fade is the memories of the team’s resolve, persistence, positivity and skill. 

“Arriving in to Derry-Londonderry tomorrow will be two local crew, Sam Tosh and Richard Greer.  As you can imagine the excitement is building on board!” 

Olly Cotterell, skipper of OneDLL, added: “Here on OneDLL we are obviously looking forward to putting the last race behind us and putting our best foot forward for the next race. There are obviously lessons to be learnt but one thing is for sure the closeness of the last race again speaks volumes about the race as a whole and how you can't afford to make the slightest mistake, whether it be in tactics, yacht handling or preparation.”

Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance, said Race 14 proved to be an interesting race with the leaderboard changing countless times.

"We started the race very well only to drop places thanks to a large wind hole. We climbed back up the leaderboard only to drop places again that we haven't quite been able to make back.

"This is my 13th Transatlantic and I have never known the weather to be so settled and benign for such a long period of time. The crew worked really hard to the end and even when we were 30 miles behind 11th with 12 hours to go they were still keen to eke out every bit of speed possible from the boat. Our poor race position certainly isn't through lack of commitment from the team."

To see each boat's arrival time into Foyle Marina, click here.