27 September 2015

After a nail biting fight to the finish, GREAT Britain crossed the finish line in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro at 1400 UTC (1100 local) just 0.8 nautical miles ahead of Derry~Londonderry~Doire to secure the final podium position as third placed finisher in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race’s 5,200 nautical mile opening leg from London.

Arriving into Marina da Gloria in the early hours today, 27 days after the spectacular London Race Start, Skipper Pete Thornton said: “It’s a relief to be here in Rio, very much with regards to the position we just managed to get and the third place which I am delighted with for sure. Was really really really hoping that third would come off, even when it seemed really impossible about three days ago.

“It’s been quite something. The first four or five days we had our own Battle of Biscay with LMAX Exchange and then past Madeira we sailed into a lovely wind hole and that’s where Derry~Londonderry~Doire showed up. We’ve been battling it out together for pretty much the last three weeks. 5,200 miles and we end up in Rio less than a mile apart. Mind altering to say the least.”

Fourth placed team Derry~Londonderry~Doire crossed the finish line at 1603 UTC (1303 local). Skipper Daniel Smith says: “We had been swapping places with GREAT Britain for a long time right up to the end –just proves what a closely matched fleet we have. Obviously we are disappointed to not end up taking that third place finish but what we’ve achieved as a team and the fantastic experience we’ve had all together more than makes up for that in my opinion. I’m very proud of them.”

GREAT Britain crew member John Charles suffered a broken arm whilst at the top of the mast during a manoeuvre. He was in good spirits as he arrived into port to be greeted by his wife. On the race he said: “It was a race of thirds really. We had a blistering first third of the race and then certain things happened. The middle third was a shocker obviously as my arm broke, we had a knockdown and computer problems and things and then the final third was basically a slogfest with Derry~Londonderry~Doire all the way to the finish line which made it really exciting."

Talking about his injury and his hopes to continue, John says: “This is the hobby we are in, we know the elements we are going into and things happen at sea. It was unfortunate but it is one of those things. I want to be on the next leg to South Africa if I can. I’m off to the hospital now to find out more. My goal has always been to be a round the worlder so I’m going to do everything I can to get back on the boat as quick as I can.”

In addition to its ten race points, GREAT Britain also claims two bonus points having been the second team to cross the Scoring Gate, with Derry~Londonderry~Doire picking up the remaining one bonus point for being third across. Full race standings will be made public once all twelve teams are in and the Race Office verifies all timings.

Garmin crossed the finish line in fifth place at 1850 UTC (1530 local) and is due into the marina shortly.

You can track the progress of the rest of the fleet via the Clipper Race Viewer at www.clipperroundtheworld.com/raceviewer

Expected arrival times for the fleet is as follows:

ETA Marina da Gloria (Local time – UTC-3)
Tuesday 29 September: Visit Seattle
Wednesday 30 September: Clipper Telemed+ and PSP Logistics
Thursday 1 October: Mission Performance
Friday 2 October: Da Nang–Viet Nam, Unicef and IchorCoal

Join The Race