Race 13 Preview: The Final Test for Teams

21 July 2018

An atmosphere of nervous excitement is building in Derry-Londonderry as Skippers and crew gear up for Race 13, the last test of the circumnavigation, which will return the teams to Liverpool, UK, on Saturday, 28 July.

This 900 nautical mile (nm) dash around Ireland could prove to be the make or break race for teams sitting closely on the overall leaderboard. In the running to be the Clipper 2017-18 Race winner, Sanya Serenity Coast leads Visit Seattle and Qingdao (both tied in second and third respectively)by 14 points, but victory is far from secure.

Setting up a nail biting conclusion which could go down to the wire, Visit Seattle has left it to the last opportunity to use its Joker Card, which will double its race points, and with bonus point opportunities available in the Sprint Finish, it really is too close to call. PSP Logistics and Garmin, in fourth and fifth, are also tied on overall race points and can still mathematically make the overall podium.

Speaking ahead of the final race, Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston says: “After twelve race stages, it’s absolutely fantastic the leaderboard is so tightly contested. It’s Sanya Serenity Coast’s to lose at this point so I know Wendy and her crew will be giving it their all, knowing that one mistake could cost them everything in such a short race.”

After slipping lines from the Foyle Port Marina in Derry-Londonderry at 12:00 local time on Sunday 22 July (UTC+1/BST), a parade of sail will take place at 13:00 to bid farewell to their Northern Irish hosts, with thousands of locals expected to take to the waterfront.

Race 13 gets underway at 17:00 local time near Greencastle, in the Republic of Ireland. The fleet will then race south around the western and southern coasts before heading north towards the Liverpool finish line. However, it won’t quite be over for the teams as they cross the finish line because Race 13 will conclude with a final 20 mile sprint up the River Mersey to the Royal Albert Dock, in which the top three teams will be awarded 3, 2 and 1 points respectively.

The sprint commences at 0800 with a Le Mans start, and is expected to finish between 09:30 and 10:30 on Saturday 28 July, completing the adventure of a lifetime in thrilling fashion in front of thousands of spectators.

Commenting on the final stage, Clipper Race Director Mark Light says: “The Sprint Finish will be all out-match racing to the line, and with every team on the edge with so much at stake, tensions are already building across the fleet.

“With the competitive racing that’s been demonstrated over the past 40,000 nm, I expect this will go right down to the wire. No one knows which way it’s going to go, we’ll just need to keep watching.”

Whilst it may be the end of the adventure for the intrepid Clipper Race crew who have raced 40,000nm across six oceans over eleven months, the memories of all that has been endured and celebrated will last forever. After one final parade of sail, teams will berth at Royal Albert Dock and a public Prize Giving celebration will be open to all at 14:15 on the steps of the Liverpool Museum, where whatever their final positions in the fleet, a sense of incredible achievement will be celebrated.

As ever, follow the Race Viewer, which is updated hourly to track the action.

For those attending the Race Finish, a full weekend of activities is on offer as organised by Liverpool City Council and the Clipper Race. Full details can be found on the Liverpool Race Finish page of the Clipper Race website. Anyone unable to attend will not miss the action however as it will be captured live and streamed on the Clipper Race website between 0900 and 1530 at www.clipperroundtheworld.com/livestream.

Wishing you could be out on the start line in Derry-Londonderry, too? Well now you can, virtually, from the comfort of your own armchair; in fact, wherever you are with an internet link, via laptop, tablet or mobile.

The Clipper Race has teamed up once again with the world’s leading and most experienced team of digital yacht racing game experts at Virtual Regatta and after a competitive Race 12, the virtual ocean racing platform is open one last time for the start of Race 12. Full details of all the features and how to play are available in the game website.

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