Sunny side up for Washington, DC’s homecoming

17 June 2024

“Today we made history” were the words that greeted the Washington, DC team as it arrived at a sun-soaked The Wharf early this morning (17 June).

As first light broke, an infrequent occurrence took place in the city as the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge opened to allow the entire Clipper Race fleet, led by home boat Washington, DC, to motor towards its last international port of call of this edition.

Image: Washington, DC leads the way to Washington, DC

Despite the early start, the teams arrived to walls lined with friendly faces, family members and locals who had turned out to see the fleet arrive in the US capital for the first time in Clipper Race history. Down on the dock, the flag waving welcoming crew from Events DC included Angie Gates, President and CEO, and Ralph Morton, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, who proudly welcomed each of the eleven teams, offering up baskets of gifts and local beers.

In her welcome speech, Angie said: “Welcome to that nation’s capital, Washington, DC! We should be super excited this morning as we just made history by having this stopover here in DC, so let’s give ourselves a round of applause. We are so proud to have you here, you are part of our Events DC family. I want you to explore our city, our monuments, we have so much to offer. But this also a unique opportunity for us to finally be together, spend some quality time together as Events DC. So welcome, you are finally in DC! We are here to support you, not just today, but everyday.”

Image: Washington, DC team and Events DC President Angie Gates

After waiting almost a year to bring the Washington, DC boat home, Skipper Hannah Brewis said: “We are here in Washington, DC, finally! We’re in our home port. We’ve been waiting for this for the whole race, and it’s a very big moment for our boat and we are very excited.

“We’ve been awake all night, so to arrive to all of these people greeting us is so special. I don’t think this has ever happened before, there’s so many people it’s crazy.

“There’s so much I want to do while I am here. My mom and dad are here, so I’m going to spend some time with them and explore this city that we’ve been talking about for so long.”

Image: Skipper Hannah talks to Clipper Race Live on arrival

With a big smile on her face, AQP Ella Hebron added: “What an amazing arrival! It’s been a long motor through the Chesapeake and then along the Potomac, but the whole way here the anticipation for the arrival was just building and building. Everyone is so excited to be here and the welcome from the dockside was immense. Everyone has been super motivated; it was a great race!”

Since the race began in Portsmouth, UK, in September 2023, the Washington, DC team has sailed an impressive 36,170 nautical miles. Named the Come Sea DC Cup by Host Port Partners, Events DC, Race 12 saw the team face extreme weather conditions, fickle winds and electric squalls that tested them both mentally and physically.

Image: Washington, DC yacht at home in The Wharf

The Washington, DC stopover is a significant milestone in the 2023-24 race as the fleet now prepares to embark on the final leg back to the UK on the brink of completing its monumental journey around the world. But for now Race Crew will rest, relax and enjoy all this amazing city has to offer.

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