27 September 2015

Skipper Ashley Skett and his Garmin team crossed the finish line at 1850 UTC (1550 local) today to claim the fifth spot in Race 1 to Rio and its first eight race points. The team’s arrival completes the front of the fleet’s finishes in the opening race.

As the Garmin team arrived it was greeted by a welcome committee of friends, family and race crew from the first four arriving teams who waved and clapped them into port.

Skipper Ashley says: “It is amazing to finally be here. It’s been such a long trip. We’ve had it all really and to arrive here finally is a feeling like no other I’ve ever had before.

“We’ve been fighting for the top positions throughout most of the race. At one point we were in line for a podium position but we pretty narrowly missed out on that. The team have been incredible, we’ve had really good high spirits on board and I can’t praise them all enough. Everyone’s been brilliant and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.”

Garmin was consistently racing in the front half of the fleet from Day 1 and pushed hard against Derry~Londonderry~Doire, Qingdao and GREAT Britain, driving them all on the entire way south through the Atlantic.

Asked about her race experience, Leg 1 and 7 crew member Jenny Day, who named each day on board the boat as something different (today was Crush a Can Day with other notables including National Mini Golf Day and Dogs in Politics Day) said: “It was amazing, the best thing I have ever done, and with such an incredible group of people who really quickly feel like family. You rely on them all the time, have so many laughs together and so many memorable moments.

“I’m looking forward to coming back in Leg 7. I hope the round the worlders remember me! It will be great to see everyone and see how they’ve improved. I’m looking forward to going through the Panama Canal then, but for now I am looking forward to following the Race Viewer and trying to balance my addiction to it with going back to work.

“We had so much great support and prayers from people back home and different schools who see doing something like this as a really big deal. People tell you that you’re an inspiration and that is pretty humbling. But I myself feel inspired by the round the world crew members. They are the most courageous people I know.”

The next placed boats, Clipper Telemed+ and Visit Seattle are 484 and 491 miles from the finish line respectively and are currently expected to arrive on Tuesday evening.

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Click here to follow the progress of the rest of the fleet, and read all about the action in tomorrow's Daily Update.

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