25 September 2015

LMAX Exchange has claimed the first victory of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race after it crossed the Race 1 finish line in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro at 1718 UTC (1418 local) after 26 days of racing direct from London.

Speaking on behalf of his team as he stepped back on land to enjoy a carnival style welcome reception led by well-known Brazilian band Bola Preta, Skipper Olivier Cardin remarked: “I feel very good. We led the race for the past two weeks and I’m really proud of the team effort. I’m very confident in my crew who did a great job.

“I know the teams behind are really competitive so we are certainly not taking this win for granted. We will take time together to study our plan for the next race as we will be pushed us hard again, but for now it is time to celebrate a team victory that we will never forget as long as we live.”

As well as claiming the maximum twelve points for the win, LMAX Exchange also won three bonus points for crossing the Scoring Gate first, getting its race campaign started with a healthy 15 point total.

Round the world crew member Steven O’Connor, a former Group Commander in the London Fire Brigade, said: “It feels absolutely fantastic. All that hard work for the past 25 or more days has been all worth it. I can’t quite believe that I left my family waving on a misty, overcast, damp Southend Pier and now we’re here in beautiful, sunny Rio de Janeiro. It’s quite unbelievable really.

“We’re not going to be complacent but we’re in a good position to look forward to the next race to Cape Town with our heads held high.”

Leg 1 and 6 crew member Kristof Bostoen, 49, is Belgian but was born in Rio and lived here until he was four. Speaking about returning for the first time he said: “When I decided to do the Clipper Race I specifically chose this first part to Rio. I was born here and left aged four but have never returned. My godparents are Brazilian and I met them today for the first time that I remember at least. They met me when I was hours old.

“Sailing in was amazing, it is very beautiful here and it was more emotional than I thought it would be. In first place too. What an experience. I’m looking forward to the next few days exploring my birthplace.”

David Mercer, CEO of British Financial Technology firm LMAX Exchange is coming out to Rio to congratulate the team. He says: “We are immensely proud of Olivier and his team for sailing an immaculate leg to Rio. They have set the bar high and have earned some well-deserved down time in Rio but knowing the crew I am sure in a few days their focus will be firmly set on improving further en route to Cape Town in the next race."

Current second placed team Qingdao is in Stealth Mode which means its position will not be reported until 0600 UTC tomorrow but is not expected to arrive until Saturday afternoon, some 24 hours behind LMAX Exchange. GREAT Britain, Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Garmin are all battling hard for the remaining podium position. The rest of the fleet is due in over the coming days.

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

Fleet ETA Marina da Gloria (Local time – UTC-3)
Saturday 26 September (PM): Qingdao
Sunday 27 September: Derry~Londonderry~Doire and GREAT Britain
Monday 28 September: Garmin
Tuesday 29 September: Visit Seattle
Wednesday 30 September: Clipper Telemed+ and PSP Logistics
Thursday 1 October: Mission Performance
Friday 2 October: Unicef, Da Nang–Viet Nam and IchorCoal

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