​Qingdao sails into Seattle in second place

24 April 2024

It’s another podium finish for Qingdao, after a race from the team’s home port across the North Pacific to Seattle. The team arrived at the cities emerald shores this morning (24 April) to cheering supporters, champagne spray celebrations and surprise visits from loved ones who had flown into Seattle to welcome the team in.

Following a risky tactical choice to take the most southerly route, Qingdao’s decision paid off as the team managed to maintain a strong position all the way to the finish, crossing the line yesterday in second place after 26 days at sea.

Speaking about the race, Henry Hallatt said: “It was good, we had a bit of everything. We didn’t quite have the massive North Pacific that was possible. When we set off, we said that what would be ideal would be to have good sailing, rather than survival conditions, and that’s exactly what we had. Every step of the way, other than the wind holes, it was really quite pleasurable sailing.”

A testament to the risky decision to head further south than the other teams, Skipper Philip Quinn said of Qingdao’s success: “What happened was we were finding ourselves where we didn’t want to be, and then there was an opportunity that threw itself up. There were pros and cons: we could end up at the front, or we could end up really badly at the back, and the crew decided to give it a go and do something different. It was the right decision!”

Image: Qingdao Ambassadors Xuan Bu and Ziqi Wang

New Zealander Gussie Gould, a circumnavigator on board Qingdao said: “It was long, wet and cold, but it was amazing to have nice clear starry nights, seeing whales and dolphins and it was good to come second as well!”

Image; Gussie Gould and Brendan Wilde

Chris Faris, a Seattle local sailing on board Qingdao describes sailing into his home city: “I’m from Seattle originally and went to university and started my career here. It’s nice to be home. It’s an amazing city, a great skyline and cultural things to do.

“Coming around Discovery Park, we took a left turn, and the skyline is right there, it’s absolutely beautiful with the Space Needle, stadiums and the waterfront, it’s just wonderful.”

Local craft beers and chowder from local spot Anthony’s seafood restaurant were on the cards to start the team’s celebrations ahead of a stopover of rest and exploring the city’s sights.

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