Race 2: Hundred Years Cup - welcoming Zhuhai and Our Isles and Oceans

13 October 2023

Two further teams have arrived into Punta del Este after a 28-day ocean crossing, the first on the Circumnavigation.

Under a moonlit sky, with the harbour water bright with bioluminescence, Zhuhai crossed the Race 2: Hundred Years Cup Finish Line at 21:03:55 (00:03:55 UTC). This secured the team fifth place in the 5,300race from Puerto Sherry, Spain to Punta del Este Uruguay.

Image: Zhuhai arriving into port at Punta del Este

Skipper James Finney said on arrival into port: “The last few days have been pretty tough to be honest! It was a bit of a shock after coming through the doldrums etc, then getting into serious weather right at the end. It was a real battle to get in. But we are super pleased with how the race went. 5th place is a great result and I'm really proud of everyone. I've been so lucky with our crew, it's been really good fun and a real privilege to lead the team across their first ocean.”

Crew from earlier arrivals, locals and members of the Yacht Club Punta del Este lined the harbour walls to greet the team in. As part of the welcome ceremony, a senior member of the yacht club presented the Race Skipper with their honorary burgee along with a goody bag packed full of local foods, and products from Team Supporter Urufarma, to share on the next race.

Image: Crowds gather to welcome the arrival of Our Isles and Oceans

Crew member Jessica Fletcher, who is circumnavigating on board Zhuhai, said: “It feels great to be on solid ground again. I'm very proud of the Skipper, AQP, and the team. We had a blast, we saw so much of the ocean and the world, what a treat! We kept each other warm with hot drinks sent up on deck and made sure everyone was comfortable and in high spirits.”

Fellow teammate and circumnavigator, Jun Gao, added: “We fought really hard till the very last moment and I'm very proud of everyone. It's very emotional. We finished fifth and it's a great result. I'm very happy to be here in Punta Del Este. What's amazing is that no matter how hard it got, no one ever gave up. The team morale was always high, and we helped each other and looked after each other.”

Image: Smiling faces after 27 days at sea

The Our Isles and Oceans team was next to dock in Punta del Este the following afternoon, placing sixth in Race 2: Hundred Years Cup! After a tricky finish, where the team was left with little wind for the final miles into Punta del Este, the team arrived to cheering crowds thronging the breakwater and beaming sunshine.

Image: Our Isles and Oceans arrives into Punta del Este

On arrival, its Race Skipper Max Rivers said: “The team have done fantastically well to get here. There have been many hardships, this morning being one of them! We are so happy to be here and what a welcome! The team has really come together, they had a brilliant race and pushed really hard, so we are ready to go again!”

Speaking about the Our Isles and Oceans (OIAO) Ambassador, Frankie Townend, who sailed on board for Leg 1, Max added: “Frankie was fantastic- we'd take her back anytime! We are looking forward to Gill, the next OIAO Ambassador to get on board, I know she’ll fit into the team really well.”

Image: Our Isles and Oceans Ambassador Frankie (right) and crew mate

Frankie Townend, from Cheltenham, UK, spoke about how the OIAO programme had impacted her: “My confidence has improved massively, I’ve had so many different experiences, learnt so many new things and new skills. I would recommend it to anyone to do! My sailing ability is so much better, and I have noticed how natural everything feels.”

Follow the Race Viewer to see how the final five teams battle it out for the remaining positions of Race 2: Hundred Years Cup.

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