Arrivals into Subic Bay Complete

15 February 2020

Unicef complete arrivals into Subic Bay after a tough, hot race

After a patience-testing race, the finale of the Clipper 70s’ arrival into Subic Bay has taken place in the early hours of the 16 February. After one last game of cat and mouse played out between Unicef and GoToBermuda, Unicef has completed Race 5: The Sanya Tropical Paradise Race, crossing the line at 17:22:35 UTC/ 01:22:35 LT as the eleventh team to finish the long, hot, 3,812 nm race from the Whitsundays.

Reporting from on board today, Ian Wiggin, Skipper of Unicef talked about the close race towards the finish line. “It is exciting to have a sparing partner in GotoBermuda and tonight promises to be busy with all of the wind shifts, fishing boats, commercial traffic and fishing nets. There is a lot of laughter on board today in spite of our position.”

Talking upon arrival into Subic Bay, Ian said: “The conditions have been calm, very calm and extremely calm aside from the good progress we made in the trade winds. The conditions were frustrating at times, we had days and days of drifting which cost us heavily in points, but the team dealt with it really well in their positivity and attitudes. We are racing, but life and adventure and being in the middle of an ocean itself is a very exciting thing to do. Waking up excited about the opportunity is something we are really good at.”

On the team dynamics he said: “The new joiners on board have developed really well, it has been an ongoing discussion to how we can improve as a core team of round the worlders but also integrating and training new joiners, it’s ongoing and we have another race to come with the same crew. They’ve learnt a lot.”

The team, who play the very important role of not only raising money for the Clipper Race’s Charity Partner but also sharing the work the charity does globally as they cross the oceans. Ian said: “Representing Unicef is a huge privilege and honour. We are hoping to raise more awareness and explain to people the great work they do around the world.”

Crew member, Christian Andrew said: “It’s been a very happy boat, everyone has worked so hard, day in day out for the last four weeks. It’s been eat, sleep, sail, repeat, now it will be work hard, play hard in Subic Bay! ”

GoToBermuda beat Unicef into Subic Bay in the last closely-fought race within the race.

In a final twist to a nail-biting race from the Whitsundays to Subic Bay, GoToBermuda has arrived into Subic Bay Yacht Club. The team finished Race 6 of Leg 5 at 16:53:03 UTC/ 00:53:03 LT, in tenth place, overtaking and pipping Unicef to the post in one final match race.

Twenty four days ago, the non-professional crew, skippered by David ‘Wavy’ Immleman, with the support of AQP Fabian Fishan, left the turquoise waters and breezy coast of the Whitsundays behind and set off on their mission to Asia. Obstacles on the race included frustrating windholes as reported by all the teams whilst the hot conditions made the race an endurance test alone.

Spending the final miles in close quarters with Unicef, the team has enjoyed some light relief from the frustrating light winds, which had slowed the team in long stretches of the race. In his blog today, Skipper Wavy reported: “a very nice 15 knots under the Code 1, following a pattern of ‘two steps forwards, one step back in becalming wind conditions.”

Representing the tropical destination of Bermuda, the team has enjoyed celebrations as they crossed the equator, celebrated a 60th birthday on board and sighted stunning surroundings and super moons.

After such a challenging race, circumnavigating crew member, Candela Guo, was relieved to be in port, saying: “This has been the second longest race for us. It was amazing crossing the equator for a second time. Everyone has been working really hard, we had a lot of good times.”

Zhuhai sail into Subic Bay at sunrise after a hot epic race

A beautiful sunrise welcomed Zhuhai into Subic Bay Yacht Club after crossing the finish line at 21:45:54 UTC on 14 February. The team, currently being led by Australian Skipper Wendy Tuck, took the ninth spot in Race 6.

It was a challenging race for Zhuhai who had tasted the leading position for much of the Doldrums Corridor section, but then hit a windhole that lasted five days. Their lead was lost to Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam who breezed through at good speed. They then missed out on the Scoring Gate to Dare To Lead who took the third place bonus point.

Wendy Tuck, Skipper of Zhuhai said: “It was so good for the team to be in front and show we can do it and the boat goes fast enough. Unfortunately, we got to the Doldrums Corridor first and the wind died. We motored first and with hindsight we should have tried to push through and kept it for the end. But that's sailing.”

Wendy said that the team pulled together in the low wind situations they found themselves in and used the time to learn how to trim, trim, trim to make marginal gains. She described the dreaded conditions, reporting: “We managed to keep moving but the windholes popped up everywhere!” and on the heat: “this leg was the hottest I have experienced in my life, it was relentless.”

Being new to the team, Wendy described the experience, saying: “The spirit on board is good. Everyone is keen to learn. We changed a few things and the team embraced it. We changed a few things and the team embraced it which is great as it can be hard coming in with new ideas. We have given ownership to the jobs they are doing and now seeing personalities emerging which is interesting to see. It was fun, really good to see!”

Race 6 saw two Zhuhai Ambassador crew join the challenge from Airlie Beach. Kai Dang (Phil) sailed on board from the Whitsundays to Subic Bay and talked about the tough hot conditions on board whilst flying the flag for the Chinese City of Romance, Zhuhai. Being a fairly inexperienced sailor, he said: “Clipper 70s are really good. When I stepped on board I thought ‘this is really huge’, it is different to the former boats I have sailed. Of the experience he commented: “We sailed from Australia to the Philippines over 24 days and it was really really good!”

Flying the flag for the Chinese city, he enthused “I am really happy to tell my fellow crew about Zhuhai, it’s great for the city.”

Seattle arrives into Subic Bay in eighth place

Seattle, the team who fly the flag for ocean health, has completed Race 6: The Sanya Tropical Paradise Race, crossing the line into Subic Bay at 17:50:29 UTC/01:50:29 LT. Upon arrival into the marina, a hot and tired crew were testament to the fact that in ocean racing all conditions can be tough, and this was a race which had it all.

Early morning arrival for Seattle

Echoing the thoughts across the fleet, the crew agreed they had become familiar with windhole after windhole on the 3,800nm route to Asia.

Seattle crew member Dawn Widdowson with AQP Lyndsay Barnes

Crew member, Dawn Widdowson who had her husband, a WTC Logistics crew member, waiting for her in port, said: “The race was very slow, very painful but very good! We thought this was going to be the longest race, even more so that Race 2 and we are glad we are here.”

David Hartshorn, Skipper of Seattle commented on the conditions: “We had a bit of a slow beginning, it took a while to get going, we picked things up in the middle but the last part was so long and slow, being so near yet so far - it took us a long time to get in.”

Skipper David Hartshorn is interviewed on his arrival into Subic Bay

The race was certainly a fantastic one for scenery and this was what gave David his highlight, he enthused “The night sailing was fantastic, especially the last few nights because of the super moon. It was like sailing through space.”

On the competition around them, David commented: “When we came out of the Doldrums Corridor, we were close to Dare To Lead and we had 24 hours of playing cat and mouse - that was really really good fun!”

David also commented on how there were many new crew for this leg which changes the dynamics of the team, but with now over 20,000 nautical miles under their belt, the circumnavigators on board make the perfect teachers, sharing the skills they have picked up as they have travelled from one side of the world to another.

When asked to describe the race in three words, the Seattle Skipper replied “Hot, Hard and Rewarding.”

Dare To Lead secures seventh and awaits results of the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint

14:43:52UTC on the 14th February saw the Race 6 finale for Dare To Lead, who secured seventh place and five all important race points. The consensus amongst the Clipper Race teams is that Race 6 delivered dynamic and tricky weather conditions, and Dare To Lead has seen its fair share of windholes and the crew are no strangers to the challenges of ocean racing.

During the 3,800nm race to Subic Bay Dare To Lead hasn’t always been sailing solo and often racing within AIS distance of close rivals Seattle and Zhuhai. Obtaining these small victories from these close quartered races, within a race, can almost be as satisfying as taking a podium place and the comradery amongst the Skippers is always strong.

Dare To Lead, Skipper Guy Waites spoke about the challenges the team experienced, the ongoing competition and opportunities available to the team: “We’re halfway around which is amazing but we've got plenty of opportunity to keep improving the team. The team had fantastic focus, early in the race we slipped to second from last and a couple of members of crew came to me and asked - What can we do about this? We spoke about it as a team, where we’d gone wrong and how we could change it and momentum shifted completely and we clawed our way back towards the front of the fleet.”

Dare To Lead is currently sitting in seventh place in the overall race standings and is hoping for additional bonus points from the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint. Following a group discussion, the team made the tactical decision to throw everything they had into the sprint as it seemed unlikely they’d secure a Race 6 podium place. The crew will discover if their gamble has paid off when the results of the sprint are announced during the prizegiving ceremony on Monday 17 February.

Punta del Este adds a crucial six race point in Race 6

Punta del Este, Skippered by Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez crossed the finish line of Race 6 at 12:02:23UTC on the 14 February; securing themselves sixth place and six crucial race points. Punta del Este, which is currently in third place on the overall leaderboard, will add these crucial points to their overall tally and has reaffirmed its competitive edge.

The team remained consistent throughout the 3,800nm race and presented a consistent challenge for any yacht racing against them. After emerging from the Coral Sea, Punta del Este’s skipper chose a route that went west of the rhumb line before heading inshore for the stronger wind during the last 100nm of the race.

On arriving into Subic Bay Skipper Jeronimo spoke of the challenging weather conditions the team faced throughout the race but how they rallied together to keep their spirits and positive momentum strong to the end of the race: “The race has been both interesting and really challenging. Initially we faced a lot of windholes followed by navigating the Doldrums Corridor! We also had stronger winds and gusts and so it’s been quite challenging.

“My motto in times when I can't do anything about the weather conditions is to be patient and use your time wisely. We encourage the team to live in the moment, the wind will come and everyone understands the the lack of wind is temporary. We have a competitive crew and members ask frequently about distances and what can we do to improve and it’s nice to see that everyone gets involved. We are here to work hard, sail hard and to compete!”

Raising the flag for Yacht Club Punta del Este the team of 17 boasts seven nationalities on board. Their leader Jeronimo is the first Spanish Skipper in the Clipper Race and AQP Ryan Barkey, who hails from Canada, marked his 28th birthday during Race 6. The crew will be marking this special occasion in Subic Bay with a mix of celebration and recuperation.

Imagine your Korea Sails into Subic Bay, Philippines and secures fifth place.

Attaining fifth position in the Sanya Tropical Paradise Race was Imagine your Korea which arrived into the beautiful destination of Subic Bay at 12:02:23UTC. This multi-national crew has worked tirelessly and are delighted to reach the Philippines after remaining in a steady average position of fifth for the majority of Race 6.

Skipper Rob Graham commented that:“It was a close race throughout, there was at least one of the competing boats within AIS range for most of the race so that was a good thing to gauge ourselves against and to push each other on with.”Whilst undoubtedly the crew worked hard, there was also time for fun as well and on January 25th there were double celebrations to enjoy which included the Lunar New Year where Rob revealed that this involved ‘wishing each other good thoughts for the coming year’.

He added: “The ambassadors have been teaching us a few words of Korean and helping us with the celebrations and they are both really good sailors which helped and we had a good time with them.”

Korean ambassador Yooyoun Cho has throughout enjoyed racing from the Whitsundays to Subic Bay. He said:

“As ambassador, I have been introducing my culture to others during this race and I have hopefully been introducing sailing to other Koreans.”

The crew also celebrated Burns night where Scottish crew member Gillian Donald baked some shortbread. Gillian, is one of 70 crew who are circumnavigating around the world and is delighted to have reached the halfway point of the race.When asked about her favourite memories at sea so far, Gillian finds it hard to pinpoint just one standout memory.

She says:“I have so many, how about: Our first scoring gate points? Possibly seeing dolphins as the sun rose on the day, we crossed the equator. The stars? Or coming second in the last race? Conquering the Southern Ocean? Christmas lunch at sea? So many of these experiences are because of being with this crew on this boat and when I think of them, my memories are of celebrations with my crewmates. I owe my fellow ‘Round the World-ers’ a huge debt for the energy and commitment they give to our race every day and the positive energy that produces for us to continue to be our best.”

Gillian is one of six crew members on Imagine your Korea who are navigating round the world. Skipper Rob says:

“The ‘round the worlders’ are a great bunch of people - it’s a very tight group. They have been together a long time now and they know each other very well. They have been a huge help in integrating the new crew who have joined for this leg and they really started training them. I am doing less of the training and the crew are doing more of it themselves.”

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