​Race 2 Day 19: Qingdao overtakes LMAX Exchange in final approach to Cape Town

26 October 2015

The race to Cape Town is not over yet. After chasing its nearest competitor since Rio, Qingdao has overtaken LMAX Exchange, finding stronger winds and a better angle in the final approach to Cape Town.

The south easterly/south south easterly breeze is strong with gusts up into the 40s, and they are in 3 to 4 metre swells. The closer both teams get to Cape Town and Table Bay, the more it will ease off with the notoriously fickle nature of the breeze there, with some significant wind holes appearing which will prove frustrating.

As of 0830 UTC, Qingdao has 25 miles to go and LMAX Exchange 37 miles. Qingdao is anticipated to finish between 1300 and 1500 local time in ninth; and LMAX Exchange is expected to finish between 1500 and 1800 in tenth place.

The two yachts have taken very different routes on Race 2, the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms, with Qingdao heading south and LMAX Exchange sailing on a northerly course.

Igor Gotlibovych, Skipper of Qingdao, speaks about its choice of route and the final day of racing: “One final test for the team with barely 50 miles to go. The wind has picked up to over 30 knots, a headsail change was necessary with the associated early morning soaking for all involved, followed by some rarely used reefing routines.

“With about five hours to go, I can say that our southerly route has paid off. We are expecting to arrive a few hours before LMAX Exchange, having claimed the three Scoring Gate points and sailed a significantly longer route faster (by over five per cent). Our delay in Brazil meant we were sailing in a different weather system to the front runners, experiencing anything from gale force conditions to calms. We couldn't claim a podium place on corrected time, but team Qingdao could have hardly sailed a better race.

“Intensity was maintained and it was good!” Igor added.

Yesterday, the time expired for either LMAX Exchange or Qingdao to claim a podium position. With both boats racing on elapsed time from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they needed to finish within 83 hours and 10 minutes of the first three teams over the line to finish above them in the placings, and that time passed at 0812 UTC on Sunday.

Last night, GREAT Britain was officially crowned as the Race 2 winner at the prizegiving, with Derry~Londonderry~Doire in second and Garmin third.

To read more about the prizegiving, click here.

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