Race 7: The Lakewood Hills, Zhuhai Race - Arrivals Continue

04 March 2020

After the sought-after positions on the podium were taken by Qingdao, Unicef and Imagine your Korea respectively, the remaining positions have been announced.

Punta del Este scooped fourth position, crossing the finish line of Race 7: The Lakewood Hills, Zhuhai Race around 13 minutes after Imagine your Korea, narrowly missing out on a podium place. The vivid yellow Clipper 70, representing the Uruguayan destination completed the race at 00:18:00 UTC.

The team began the race following a coastal route along the west coast of the Philippines, before heading north around the Ryukyu Islands and then taking a westerly course back into Subic Bay. Upon arrival Punta del Este Skipper, Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez said: “Ahead of the race I told my crew that they had a great opportunity to sail in the South China Sea and around the Japanese islands and everyone was excited about this race. The whole crew has given its all and we’ve come in fourth position which is a really great result.

“It is a lovely part of the world to be sailing in and I am glad the Clipper Race chose to do this when they had to amend the route. I believe my team has learned a lot. We've been really concentrating on helming and trying to perfect every evolution. The message to take to the next race is - you give it all and you get the results.”

The team pushed hard during the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint, opting for the Sprint North (as declared at the beginning of the race) and is eagerly awaiting the results which will be announced at the Race 7 Prizegiving Ceremony tomorrow (5 March).

After having led the chasing pack since rounding the northern section of the course, Visit Sanya, China was also pipped to the podium in the final few hours of Race 7 by Imagine your Korea and close rival Punta del Este. Crossing the finish line at 01:08:58 UTC to finish in fifth.

With Punta del Este currently in third on the overall leaderboard [49 points] and Visit Sanya, China in fourth [46 points], the four Scoring Gate points may prove crucial and with the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprints to be announced Race 7 could see the Chinese team move up the leaderboard.

On arrival Skipper Seumas Kellock said: “Race 7 has been a really tactical one, a proper offshore race for us rather than an ocean race. It was 1,600 nautical miles around the southern islands of Japan and we had everything from up wind conditions to heavy down wind conditions and then some really light winds at the end.”

He added: “We did well in the Scoring Gate. Mark Light, the Race Director, really laid down the gauntlet during our brief to say there were two Scoring Gates for the first time ever in the Clipper Race and it would be really interesting to see if anyone can get both of them. We were one of the three boats to hit both, that really pleased the crew and also added some extra points for us.”

Zhuhai has arrived at Subic Bay Yacht Club after finishing its titled race, Race 7: The Lakewood Hills, Zhuhai Race in sixth place.

“We certainly sailed with the spirit of Zhuhai in our hearts. It’s still so very sad that we don’t get to go there, all of the crew were looking forward to it but we have been thinking about them all the time.”On the close competition throughout almost the entire race, Wendy added: “It’s great when you can see the boats on AIS. You can see the speed and where they are heading and it’s even better when you can see them physically as well. It just keeps you on your toes all the time. Sometimes on a longer race you think you're going fast, but if there’s someone next to you and you see they're going fast too, it just lifts the whole team up and makes the competition go faster as well. It’s a win-win for both, it’s fantastic and I love it, I love having a boat right on your tail.”

Wrapping up proceedings on the first day of arrivals Dare To Lead sailed into Subic Bay Yacht Club. At 0400UTC, when Mark Light, Clipper Race Director, declared the end of Race 7, Dare To Lead was 55.63nm from Virtual Mark Miller to finish in seventh place.

Skipper Guy Waites explained the ups and downs of Race 7 for Dare To Lead: “We had a good start. We were right up on the front run with the other yachts, and then we all fell into a wind hole, and watched other teams sail away. So, less than 24 hours into the race we were well and truly at the back of the pack, which was really quite demoralising for everyone. But to their credit, they kept their spirits up and managed to dig themselves out of a very difficult situation.

“We were at the back of a group of four, the winds got lighter, and lighter, we went for the shore because that's where we thought the breeze was. The breeze didn't come to the forecast, it favoured the opposition, so we didn't make any ground on them but we still finished within two hours of Zhuhai. We finished seventh and that’s to the team’s credit.”

GoToBermuda, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, Seattle and WTC Logistics all ceased racing at 0400UTC and are now making best progress to Subic Bay Yacht Club. They are expected to arrive alongside between 0700 and 0930 local time tomorrow (5 March).

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