Sunshine and spinnakers for second day of Sydney arrivals

15 December 2017

Unicef was the first team to arrive on a second day of boat arrivals in to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney, after crossing the Finish Line of Race 4: The ClipperTelemed+ Tasman Test, in sixth place, at 09:05:12 local time (22:05:12 UTC 15/12/2017).

Following its victory in Race 3 it was a steady start for Unicef out of Fremantle but the team was consistent throughout, peaking in third place on Day 3, before being caught in the grasps of the light airs after rounding the south of Tasmania.

RTW crew member Seamus Kellock, aged 24, said: "The first week-and-a-half were great and we were thinking it was nice to have a short race and to see the end in sight quite early but as we came around the bottom of Tasmania we got stuck in some very light weather and the leaders just accelerated away. Anyone who knows sailing knows that when there's no wind, there's nothing you can do...but we're here now in the middle of the fleet and glad to be here!"

For Skipper Bob Beggs this is his third time sailing into Sydney with the Clipper Race and said the race was fantastic: "We had a bit of everything really. We had strong winds, light winds, wind holes, and good competition at the beginning being very close to the other boats. Of course, the last few days have been very tense trying to maintain the push that we had and not let some of the other guys overtake us. The crew were great - everybody got something out of it and are in fine fettle looking forward to the next race."

Returning after competing in the Clipper 2015-16 Race, was Immie Greveling who has signed up for Leg 4 this year and she said: "The race was really great. I did Leg 7 on the last edition and that was a really quiet race compared to this one, which had high waves and a lot of wind. It was really exhausting but the more difficult it is, the more I like it, so it was great!"

Whilst racing, a major milestone was reached as Clipper Race crew, supporters and staff have raised over £200,000 for Unicef UK, half way to the £400,000 target for the Clipper 2017-18 Race edition, already with still more than half of the race to go. Incredibly, since Unicef became an Official Charity Partner ahead of the Clipper 2015-16 Race, more than half a million pounds has been raised. The latest fundraising total can be found on the Unicef JustGiving page and it's not to let to make a donation or to create your own JustGiving page to link to it.

Garmin arrived into Sydney later on in the day, and crossed the finish line at 15:28:26 local time (04:28:26 UTC) to become the seventh team to finish Race 4: The ClipperTelemed+ Tasman Test.

Led by Skipper Gaetan Thomas (GT), Garmin had a strong start to the race from Fremantle, and at one stage on day three occupied the top spot of the leader board. However, like many teams in the fleet, Garmin got caught in the frustrating light airs off the coast of Tasmania, and in doing so lost its hold on the leading pack and dropped out of contention for a podium finish and GT said: “It was pretty tough, quite exhausting. Lots of stories, lots of things to tell."

Despite the tough sailing conditions it was a spectacular finish for the team who entered a busy Sydney Harbour with lots of people out enjoying the sunny weather. GT added: "We had a beautiful arrival – that was something else with something like 200 or 300 boats, gybing, gybing. Good to be here, I’m exhausted and looking forward to some rest."

RTW crew member Nell Wyatt enjoyed the race overall and said: "The first bit was fantastic, really good sailing but then we did have a wind hole near Tasmania. We had dolphins and phosphorescence though, and shooting stars, which was wonderful."

She added: "Drifting backwards yesterday was difficult. We were doing really well when suddenly the wind died and we started going backwards. We were within 100 miles of Sydney and that was really difficult."

Now that the team is safely in to the CYCA at Sydney, the crew can enjoy a well-earned rest and await the rest of the fleet arrivals.

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