First day of LegenDerry Arrivals Complete

09 July 2018

Qingdao is still in the running to finish on the overall Clipper Race podium after finishing fourth in Race 12 to Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland - the penultimate race of the 40,000 nautical mile Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race.

Qingdao, skippered by Chris Kobusch, crossed the finish line at 15:53 UTC on 9 July to complete the 3,000 nautical mile race across the Atlantic Ocean. This fast-paced sixth and final ocean crossing of the eleven-month circumnavigation took them only 13 days. On arrival he said: “It was an interesting race, pretty fast but calmer and nicer weather then we were expecting. We had our doubts on our position after we went searching for the Gulf Stream but pleased with the end result."

The fourth placed team were warmly welcomed into the Foyle Port Marina with Kobusch reporting that: “All the way in from the finish line to here there were people cheering and waving, it was pretty cool!”

Whilst known for their prowess in securing bonus points from the Scoring Gate, in Race 12 it was the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint that proved lucrative for the Qingdao team this time. Adding an extra two points to their overall tally.

Racing was close to the end however with Qingdao crew member Rory Rhind, who returned for Leg 8 after racing round Australia on Leg 4, reporting that: “The last twelve hours were very frustrating. We had Dare To Lead 35 miles behind us and then after hitting an area of light airs in the bay they were 5 miles behind, so it was tight to the finish we thought they might catch us.

"Considering we were last for a fair amount of the race we are very happy to come through and with our final position.”

Dare To Lead finished, just over an hour behind Qingdao, in fifth place, crossing the finish line at 17:12 UTC to complete the first fun filled day of arrivals into Derry-Londonderry. Going into this race in sixth place on the overall leaderboard, the Dare To Lead adds eight points to this total but will have to wait till all teams have finished to see whether their overall position has changed going into the final race.

A fast and varied crossing the crew on board faced all conditions in the North Atlantic. Commenting on the passage Dare To Lead circumnavigator Charlie Garratt said: “It was brilliant. A bit of upwind sailing, a bit of downwind sailing, a bit of greyness and bit of sunshine. Bit of everything really, it was a good race."

For a circumnavigator Race 12 was extra special as Derry-Londonderry marks the end of the last ocean crossing and one final race before the round the world adventure is over. Charlie added: “Nice to know that we were coming back across the pond on the homecoming leg, one step closer to coming home and being in Liverpool.”

Derry-Londonderry is a much-anticipated stopover on the global Clipper Race circuit, with each of the 232 crew given a starring role in the award-winning Foyle Maritime Festival. Over the next fortnight, locals and visitors to Derry-Londonderry will be able to get up close to the 70-foot ocean racing yachts and take part in an exciting programme of diverse events in celebration of the Clipper Race crew and their adventurous spirit.

PSP Logistics and are the next teams expected to arrive in Derry-Londonderry. Keep an eye on how the rest of the fleet is progressing with the Race Viewer and for the latest ETAs to Foyle Port Marina.

Join The Race