Qingdao has claimed it's maiden podium for the Clipper 2017-18 Race, after finishing third in a thrilling finish to Race 4: The ClipperTelemed+ Tasman Test.
Led by Skipper Chris Kobusch, who spent a number of years living in Sydney, Qingdao crossed the finish line at 09:43:06 (22:43:06 UTC), just over an hour behind the second placed Visit Seattle.
"It's fantastic, what a great way to come to Sydney, being on the podium for the first time," says Chris.
"It was nerve-racking though. We had a good run around Tasmania and then we sailed into another wind hole. The rest of the fleet started catching up and we were then in a battle with Sanya Serenity Coast and Visit Seattle up the east coast of Australia. On the last day they managed to overtake us, we had one really bad tack and they got us but well done to them. But we are really stoked to get a podium here in Sydney."
Despite its third place finish, Qingdao will remain first in the overall Clipper Race standings, after claiming four bonus points in Race 4, one in the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint and three in the Scoring Gate. It's the third time Qingdao has been first across the Scoring Gate, and the team has picked up Scoring Gate bonus points in all four races so far.
Round the world crew member Rose Todd commented: "It was a wonderful race, really exciting.
"The Southern Ocean Part 2 was what we imagined it to be. Big rollers, big swells, big seas, lots of adventure. We met Sanya Serenity Coast in the middle of nowhere and ended up eyeballing each other. But it's been a fantastic race and we have really given it our all."
Overjoyed with the third place result, the Qingdao Major International Sailing Event (Festivals) Organising Committee sent a message of support, saying: "Congratulations to Qingdao skipper Chris Kobusch and the team on their first podium finish in Race 4."
"We hope that Qingdao team will keep it up in the coming races and contribute to the realisation of China's Dream around the globe. Qingdao team, we will welcome you home in March 2018!"
PSP Logistics narrowly missed out on a third podium in Race 4: The ClipperTelemed+ Tasman Test but clinched fourth place to complete Friday morning’s arrivals into Sydney. The podium places had looked assured with a few hundred miles to go but PSP Logistics gave the front-runners cause for concern finishing within an hour and 16 minutes of third place as the team crossed the Finish Line at 10:59:00 local time (23:59:00 UTC).
PSP Logistics initially opted for an early tactical move of heading the furthest south of the teams out of Fremantle, but were unable to find the favourable conditions that Skipper Matt Mitchell had been looking for. However, by Day 8, as the fleet converged around the southerly point of Tasmania the team rapidly climbed the leader board with a favourable tack round the aptly named Race Mark Mitchell.
Both PSP Logistics and Dare To Lead, which is currently in fifth place at the time of writing, were engaged in their own mini drag race as they both went further east when heading upwind towards Sydney, but PSP Logistics was able to pull away in the early hours of the morning with Dare To Lead expected to finish later today.
This is the third time that PSP Logistics Skipper Matt Mitchell has sailed into Sydney as part of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and he said of the race: “It was good. If we had the normal pattern of weather, going south would have been the right option but unfortunately the high pressure and the bight meant it would have been better to be a bit further north than normal and we have had to make up for our mistake.
"We sailed the boat really hard and the guys have just been fantastic. We were just pushing, pushing, pushing all the time and we wanted to keep some kind of momentum from what we were doing before. fourth place is ok, only a few miles behind third and we had to do it all the way from last place.”
You can also watch the teams arrive at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney's Rushcutters Bay live on the Clipper Race Facebook Live page (weather permitting).Join The Race