Teams arrive into Derry-Londonderry after Transatlantic crossing

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 Derry~Londonderry~Doire,Team Garmin, Old Pulteney, PSP Logistics, Jamaica Get All Right, GREAT Britain, Henri Lloyd and OneDLL have arrived into Foyle Marina receiving a warm Northern Irish welcome after completing Race 14 across the Atlantic. 

Team Garmin achieved its first podium result of the race, coming in second. Skipper Jan Ridd said the race was very tactical requiring careful routeing and constant work to keep the yacht sailing in some light winds.

"We made our bid for the podium a few days ago utilizing Stealth Mode to make a course change and challenge for the lead. The crew worked extra hard and we came out of Stealth Mode very much in contention for the overall lead.

"We took some chances cutting the corner of the high pressure just off the coast of Ireland to reduce the lead Derry~Londonderry~Doire had and it worked seeing Team Garmin in first position for a couple of schedules but Derry~Londonderry~Doire defended their lead brilliantly making some bold decisions when needed to ensure they had better wind to see them to the finish.

 "As we approached the finish the boats in the lead including ourselves saw the wind get lighter and lighter allowing the following yachts to literally charge up behind us and reduce the lead we had worked so hard to achieve.

"The last few hours of the race were pure hell with six yachts very close fighting for the three podium places. It was an incredibly close finish and I am so pleased that we managed to hold on to second, and finally the crew of Team Garmin get the success they so badly deserve. We are all looking forward now to getting to Derry-Londonderry and enjoying some Northern Irish hospitality."

Patrick van der Zijden, skipper of Old Pulteney, which secured a podium with its third place, said the team had been playing catch the leader for the last seven days.

"At one point we were 125 miles behind the leading boat and finally we battled our way to second place so that worked out well. The last 48 hours of this race were the tightest we have seen in the whole Clipper 2013-14 Race –there were times we didn’t know if we would come in fourth or fifth, it was so close out there, you could have cut the tension with a knife.

"Before we started out on this race we sat down as a team and discussed what we wanted to achieve and everyone said unanimously – we want a podium position. Luckily we were able to pull it off this time which was great. The welcome we received into the Derry-Londonderry really was spectacular – we really can’t wait to get out and about and see the sights of Northern Ireland." 

Chris Hollis, skipper of PSP Logistics, who finished in fourth, said at one stage his team was last in this race so it was a real struggle to find their stride.

"We eventually found it and started to work our way back in the fleet. We rounded the second ice mark and decided not to try and get to the eastern side and we decided to go wider in the wind – and it was the right decision. We had a blinder as we worked our way from the back of the fleet into the top half. Then the high pressure system decided to do some funny things so we then chose to reach north with a few of the other boats which is the reason we were in contention for a podium position. We have had the same team since San Francisco, with one addition, Sally Slack whose dad is on Qingdao, so she’s already in the lead, 1-0 to her."

Pete Stirling, skipper of Jamaica Get All Right, said when the race finished at 12:00 UTC yesterday there was just 3.9 miles separating second place and fifth place and only 0.04 miles separating Jamaica Get All Right and GREAT Britain.

"That is equivalent to 74 metres or three and a half boat lengths, incredible after 14 days at sea and over 3,000 miles of racing. It was certainly very nerve racking for the last few hours. Of course we would have liked to have finished on the podium especially since we were leading the race for the best part of a week but we are happy with the final result especially since we won the Scoring Gate as well. 

"This result also moves us up the overall leaderboard a little in our quest to finish in the top half of the fleet overall. With just two short races to go we will be going all out to try and improve our position and perhaps even bring home a couple of podium places."

Simon Talbot, skipper of GREAT Britain, which finished in sixth, said: "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." 

Eric Holden, skipper of overall race leader Henri Lloyd, finished a disappointing seventh. He said :"This race has not been the best for us. It is time to put this race behind us, rest up, enjoy the hospitality of Derry-Londonderry, drink copious amounts of Guinness and a few Irish whiskeys. We are all really looking forward to this stopover and forgetting about the race for a couple of days."

Olly Cotterell is skipper of  OneDLL which finished in eighth. He said: "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."