Fleet arrivals continue overnight in New York
10 June 2016
As the teams continue to arrive at Liberty Landing Marina after crossing the Race 11, LMAX Exchange – RACE of THE AMERICAS finish line this story will be updated with quotes and images.
Following on from the arrival of the podium teams, it was GREAT Britain that led the rest of the fleet up the Hudson River, past the Manhattan skyline and into Liberty Landing Marina, New Jersey.
Battling alongside Derry~Londonderry~Doire and LMAX Exchange the last few days, GREAT Britain had worked hard to maintain its position, as well as trying to make gains on Visit Seattle for the final place on the podium. Despite making up a 60 nautical mile deficit, the final 12 miles proved too much and Skipper Peter Thornton and his crew had to settle for fourth.
“Race 11 through up some amazing experiences that a few of the crew probably weren’t expecting to have on this particular race. We had all sorts of conditions from floating around doing nothing to then facing Tropical Storm Colin with 60-70 knots.
“It’s my favourite race so far, even though we didn’t manage to get on the podium, the close racing was really exciting. We got in the right position on the gulf stream which was how we managed to make up so many miles in the closing stages, but Visit Seattle was just that little bit too far ahead. I spoke to Skipper Huw a few hours ago after we had crossed the finish line behind them and he was saying he hadn’t slept for two days with the speeds we were managing. At one stage they were doing about 7 knots while we were managing 10 and I thought we might just do it but I’m happy for him and his crew to be on the podium.”
The duel for fifth place has been the tightest of the LMAX Exchange – RACE of THE AMERICAS so far with LMAX Exchange crossing the finish line just 16 minutes ahead of Derry~Londonderry~Doire. However the overall Clipper 2015-16 Race leader had a 70 minute time penalty imposed for entering the 12 mile exclusion zone around Haiti which is prohibited in the course instructions. This has allowed the Northern Irish entry to leapfrog its rival to take the fifth spot.
“We had the full works in this race. We came quite close at the end, the crew were really focused with lots of concentration while they were working hard. We had all the weight in the right place and everyone on the rail when they needed to be and lots of trimming. All the points are very important at this stage so we are glad to have moved up to fifth because hopefully it could make the difference. The first four boats are reasonably tight so there should be some exciting racing to go,” said Derry~Londonderry~Doire Skipper Daniel Smith.
“Tropical Storm Colin arrived very quickly and he had quite a punch to him but we had some very good downwind sailing. So in actual fact even though it was very windy and we struggled at times to get the sails down, we really enjoyed it and there were big grins on the faces of the crew in the cockpit as we sailed downwind.
On the 20 June the fleet will depart New York for Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland, on the race to his team’s home port, Dan added: “We are very excited about the next race to Derry-Londonderry and we are going to spend some time here getting the boat ready because it is one of the big races for us. We will be pushing hard and we’re really looking forward to getting the boat home."
For LMAX Exchange, which tops the Overall Race Standings and won Race 10 into Panama, the sixth place finish this time was disappointing.
“We didn’t have a great start but we clawed our way back up through the rankings. We wish the race was a bit longer so we could have finished a bit higher. Tropical Storm Colin passed through quite quickly but didn’t cause us too many problems, in fact he gave us a bit of an advantage,” said LMAX Exchange circumnavigator Nigel Cook.
“It is very competitive, we were very aware of where Derry~Londonderry~Doire and GREAT Britain were and we were just very keen to get ahead of them. I know we crossed the line ahead of Derry~Londonderry~Doire but with our penalty we have lost a position. That’s what makes the exciting though, when you can see the opposition and monitor their position and constantly comparing our performance against theirs, that’s what it’s all about,” he added.
Da Nang - Viet Nam is the next team due at Liberty Landing Marina around 0500-0600 local time (0900-1000 UTC). QIngdao will follow at approximately 0800-0900 local time.
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