As dawn breaks arrivals continue into Cape Town

19 October 2017

Another successful but varied race for Qingdao as it crossed the line at 03:54:47 UTC (05:54:47 local time), finishing sixth just shy of its close-fought rivals Liverpool 2018 and Visit Seattle.

After another strong start, where it was second to cross the start line back in Punta del Este, Qingdao made the bold decision to take the northerly route aiming for the Scoring Gate. Successfully securing the maximum bonus points available for a second consecutive race and adding another three extra points to its overall total. With the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint times still to be finalised, it could potentially add more.

IMAGE: Skipper, Chris Kobusch, gives the honour of spraying the Stormhoek Sparkling Wine to Qingdao Ambassador Xiaoyu Luo.

Crossing the line under the shadow of Table Mountain at the break of dawn was a special moment for skipper, Chris Kobusch, who previously lived and worked in Cape Town and said: “It was lovely, it’s so good to be back. It’s a sort of homecoming for me so it’s fantastic to be back in Cape Town.”

But the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms has not been without its difficulties for Qingdao. Chris went on to say: “There have been ups and downs during this leg. We had a really quick start, slowed down in the middle, and then finished quite quick in the end. It was a good race, less wind than anticipated, we thought the Southern Ocean was just going to be super-fast all the way to Cape Town but we hit quite a few wind holes again which was interesting.”

For Al Jay, a roofer from Brighton, who has already sailed over 10,000 nautical miles on his Clipper Race adventure on Legs 1 and 2, said: “It was great, nice quick crossing. Two weeks, couldn’t have been any better.

“Really enjoyed that, as ever, we went a different way to everyone else and came good at the Scoring Gate. However, we came out a bit slack and at the back of the pack. It was really tight last night, we should have pushed harder through the night to be honest and we realised this morning how close it was again. So, sixth this time, something to aim for next time.”

For Qingdao Ambassador Xiaoyu Luo her Clipper Race experience was a tough but extremly enjoyable, she remarks: "This is very special experience for me. It’s tough, making food, going to the heads, is a very hard part but we cope. Every four hours when you wake up and do a lot of things, tough jobs, it’s very hard but it’s fine. In this race I met a lot of very special people and they are good teachers and good friends.

"Yes I am going to continue sailing, I can’t stop."

The second Chinese team entry, Sanya Serenity Coast, sailed into seventh place just two hours after Qingdao, crossing the finish line at 07:51:38 UTC (09:51:38 local time).

Despite not replicating its line honour victory of Race 1, spirits were very high upon the team’s arrival into a sunny Cape Town. Skipper Wendy Tuck said: “I am very excited to be here [in Cape Town]!"

After a wonderful welcome performance from a local singing group, and a Champagne spray courtesy of Stormhoek wines, she added: “[The leaderboard position] could have been better, but we are so pleased to be here. It was a little tedious right at the end there, but we have made it now.

“I am looking forward to seeing some family!”

Sanya Serenity Coast had a strong start to Race 2 at the front of the fleet as it headed out of Punta del Este, Uruguay, and sailed a very consistent race over 15 days and could still be in with the chance of picking up some extra race points once the results of the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint come in.

Following Sanya Serenity Coast into Cape Town is Nasdaq in ninth place.

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