Battle to the end for second place Zhuhai and third place UNICEF on Race 12

16 June 2024

Securing its eighth podium place of the Clipper 2023-24 Race, it was Zhuhai who scooped up second on Race 12: Come Sea DC Cup.

The team can now boast that more than 50% of it races have finished with a podium place – an incredible achievement for the Chinese backed team entry, and one which will have it cementing its current leader board spot.

Image: Zhuhai departs Panama for Race 12

Zhuhai took a risk as it emerged from Stealth Mode, making the dart for the Scoring Gate and then taking a chancier, more easternly route in the hunt for better wind. It was a successful gamble, as after a neck and neck jostle with Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, Zhuhai secured itself two bonus points. It did however leave them edging towards the bottom of the standings, where it was wind shifts, sail changes and plenty of on board enthusiasm as the team battled its way back to the top, all with UNICEF hot on their heels.

As the team completed its twelfth race in 8 days, 33 minutes and 30 seconds, Skipper James Finney reported from the Finish Line: “Well that went better than expected! Taking a flyer, it turns out, is very stressful as statistically the odds are not in your favour, and it was a real rollercoaster of a race. However, with quite a healthy dollop of luck and a lot of hard work and good sailing by Mike and the crew, through some surprisingly tough conditions, we pulled it off. Safe to say that in my opinion, this team are rockstars!”

And after the now all too common end of race windhole that squeezed the fleet closer together in the final stages, it was UNICEF that held on and took home the final podium spot up for grabs, crossing the line just 90 minutes after competitor Zhuhai and taking third place.

Image: UNICEF team ready to race!

AQP Laura Hampton said as the team crossed the Finish Line: “This has been the race of the unpredictable. Unpredictable wind direction, speed and weather provided constant challenges for our team. We made more sail changes than we had hot dinners and fortitude was certainly tested. Amidst the unpredictable this team managed to get back on the podium and into home waters, which is pretty mega as we enter our final international stop of the circumnavigation!"

Freddie Pite, Corporate Partnerships Lead at UNICEF said: “Congratulations to the UNICEF team for securing third place in such an exciting finish. It is testament to your unwavering determination as a team, both onboard and through your phenomenal fundraising efforts throughout the race. Thank you for your efforts in raising vital funds to improve the lives of children across the world.”

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