It was an action-packed day full of sun, smiles and Rum Swizzles as teams arrived into the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club after Race 12: Go To Bermuda.

First to dock was the Race 12 winning team: Visit Sanya, China. There were smiles and cheers all around as the crew was greeted by Host Port Partners Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA), Bermuda’s Minister of Tourism, Vance Campbell and Craig Davis, Commodore of Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, along with supporters and Clipper Race Staff. Visit Sanya was celebrating its first win of the 2019-20 edition. The team received a special Bermudian welcome with a celebratory Gosling’s Dark n Stormy cocktail.

Image: Burnt House

Visit Sanya Skipper, Mike Miller said: “It feels absolutely amazing to be here on the beautiful island of Bermuda. The race was full of twists and turns, we had wind holes, tactical duels and in the end we finished really close together, but a great vindication of the team that we pipped everyone at the post!”

Image: Burnt House

On the entrance into Hamilton, Tracy Berkeley, BTA said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Clipper Race fleet to Bermuda for the first time. This is an extraordinary competition, challenging everyday people to test their limits in an adventure of a lifetime.

“We look forward to hosting the hundreds of crew, their family members, and visiting friends and we invite all of Bermuda to enjoy the slate of BTA-Clipper Race activities available this week.“

Ms. Berkeley added: “I would like to salute Matt Stephens, Bermuda Ambassador, and participant in the Seattle to Panama race for representing Bermuda aboard GoToBermuda and showcasing our island’s famed hospitality.”

Richard Dicketts, Race Crew on board Visit Sanya, reported on the team’s win and the arrival: “What a beautiful place! It’s amazing to be here, and we are so happy coming first, we’re elated and emotional. We had a great Le Mans Start, and we raced really hard. The crew were amazing, Skipper and AQP were amazing- we took the right choices at the right time, and the risks paid off- what a fantastic race.”

Shortly after, it was time for fanfare as the GoToBermuda team motored into its home port having taken second place in this race, as well as playing its Joker, meaning double points. The crew received a huge ‘Bermuda-ful’ reception, complete with a performance from the Royal Bermuda Regiment Band. After a celebratory rum cocktail courtesy of Gosling’s, champagne spray and team huddle, the team met with friends and supporters and headed off to enjoy the island.

Image; Burnt House

Image: Burnt House

Image: Burnt House

Talking about the race, and the stopover ahead, GoToBermuda Skipper David ‘Wavy’ Immelman said: “Just being in Bermuda, is itself just wonderful, after a three year wait to get here. The podium is just the cherry on top! The welcome here has been unbelievable. Many of us knew that we had loved ones here to meet us, but the welcome that the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the team from the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club have given us has been stunning- it made the wait to get here worthwhile.”

After an unbelievably close battle to the finish line, WTC Logistics having taken third place, was next to arrive at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, having clinched the podium just ahead of Punta del Este.

Dan Jones, WTC Logistics Skipper reported on the final result: “Last minute, we managed to sneak a third place from Punta del Este. We managed to hold a bit of extra speed toward the end, it was so close- we could hear Punta del Este talking as we crossed the line! It’s great to have a podium, and the crew just really know how to sail the boat, I’m really proud of them.”

Image: Burnt House

Punta del Este was next to dock in the marina, followed by Unicef, who placed fifth, and Zhuhai in sixth.

Image: Burnt House

Qingdao was next to arrive in the beautiful blue waters of Bermuda, with Seattle and Dare To Lead completing the first day of arrivals.

Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam and Imagine your Korea arrived the next day from 0730 local time on 14 June.

With all yachts now docked in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the stopover will get underway with a jam-packed programme of sailing and tourism events, and of course the Prizegiving ceremony.

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