The final showdown: Race 3 Prizegiving
13 November 2023
Overlooking Table Bay, Race Crew gathered to celebrate the achievements of Race 3 and the South Atlantic Ocean crossing.
Set within the V&A Waterfront, Sevruga Restaurant hosted the Prizegiving for Race 3: TIMEZERO South Atlantic Showdown, a 3,500nm race from Punta del Este, Uruguay to Cape Town, South Africa. The evening was a chance for teams to swap stories, reunite with friends across the fleet and acknowledge the challenge they had faced and conquered.
This stage of the circumnavigation was certainly a race of two halves with the first section being dominated by complicated and unseasonal weather patterns that gave the teams lots of upwind sailing interspersed with regular light patches and wind holes.
This definitely had a negative impact on the fleet’s progress out from Uruguay. However, the second half of the race was much more like the traditional South Atlantic with fast downwind sailing conditions, with cold grey days with a tremendous amount of rain soaking the crews, whilst rocketing along at double-digit average boat speeds.
The superb progress did not last all the way to the end however, as a twist in the form of a ridge of high-pressure lay between the fleet and the finish line off Cape Town port. This played havoc with the predicted arrival times and caused a degree of frustration as the teams did their best to keep moving without stalling finishing at walking pace.
To start the proceedings, Sir Robin took to the stage to commend the teams on what they had achieved: “I have watched the weather in the South Atlantic for over fifty years, and I have to say I have never seen it as difficult as it was this time. Congratulations on getting here.
“Prepare well for the next race. I have to say, it's going to be an interesting one, so good luck.”
The first award of the evening was the hotly contested Media Prize. This prize is awarded each leg for an outstanding blog, video or photo.
The highly commended entries for Leg 2 were ‘Floating Coffee Grinder. ’First was a fun photo shot on board Our Isles and Oceans, and second, a video involving all crew on Perseverance as they hunt down their nemesis, PSP Logistics. Washington DC’s Lucy Kolodynskawas given a shout-out for her BritPop inspired blog, ’Boat Life’ written to the tune of Blur’s ‘Park Life’.
The winner of the Media Prize went to a team who had filmed and edited a TikTok video – all shot whilst sailing through the challenging conditions of the South Atlantic - Washington, DC. Coordinated by Lucy, the video is homage to a lockdown social media trend with music from Daoi Freyr.
Image: Lucy Kolodynskawas accepting the media winners prize
Next up was the UNICEF Charity fundraising update. So far on this edition, the Clipper Race teams have made an outstanding effort, with Bekezela leading the charge along with UNICEF raising the second highest total, and both already exceeding the target of £30,000. The grand total so far is £123,324,raised through a range of creative fundraising activities from crew and supporters.
For this leg, it was Tanya Horn and Ian Scanlan from UNICEF that were awarded the Charity Champion prize for their spooky fundraiser event. The duo hosted a very special Halloween fundraising party in Vancouver with crewmate Mabs Elahi, while their crewmates on board UNICEF were carving their own pumpkin in the middle of the South Atlantic .
Tanya and Ian sold tickets and collected donations from friends and family and smashed their joint fundraising target, with over £1500 raised for the charity. Tanya is a hospice nurse who sailed on Leg 1 and joins the UNICEF team again on Leg 4 in Australia with Ian, an airline pilot, and Mabs, a ship's doctor.
Image: Skipper Dan Bodey accepting the Charity Champion pennant
Then it was over to the racing results. First on the line up was the Scoring Gate, where teams can win bonus points by racing across a line of longitude or latitude away from the direct race route. The first three teams across this line gain three, two and one bonus point respectively. Having maintained a strong lead from the start, Perseverance opted to head for the Scoring Gate and picked up three extra points for crossing first. Dare To Lead took second, and Yacht Club Punta del Este gained one extra point for crossing third.
On each race, there is yet another opportunity to gain bonus points. Next to be announced in the ceremony was the Race 3: TIMEZERO South Atlantic Showdown Ocean Sprint results. A result that is kept under wraps until Prizegiving, the news is highly anticipated, and the points won can affect leader board standings. On this race, it was Perseverance that won the Ocean Sprint, gaining three bonus points, followed by Dare To Lead and then Zhuhai in third place.
Next it was time for Clipper Race Director, Mark Light to officially crown the podium winners of Race 3.In third place and gaining its first podium of the Clipper 2023-24 Race, Zhuhai was invited to the stage to receive the third-place pennant. This was a moment to celebrate for its Skipper, James – his first podium since sailing on the Zhuhai team (James was First Mate on Zhuhai in the 2019-20 edition).
Image: Zhuhai winning third place
In second Perseverance then headed to the stage, led by Skipper Ineke. The team was in the lead for the majority of Race 3 but was just pipped at the post in the final stages of the race. However, there was still much to celebrate as this was the team’s third consecutive podium of the race.
Image: Perseverance taking second place
Finally, it was time to celebrate the second home port win of the edition. Skippered by local Capetonian, Ryan Gibson, the Dare To Lead team had a storming race, battling closely for the top position throughout the 3,500nm racecourse. A tactical decision to go into Stealth Mode in the final days enabled the yacht to swoop ahead of Perseverance. The team, which had seven South Africans on board, clinched the win and its first podium position of the edition
To make things sweeter, Dare To Lead also played its Joker, meaning that the eleven points gained for the win, doubles to 22 points, catapulting the team to second on the overall race standings. A well-deserved party on stage to the team’s song followed, as Ryan, Charlie and the crew were awarded their first-place pennants.
Image: Dare To Lead winning first place
To round off the evening, Race Crew who are stepping off their team yachts after completing Leg 2 were invited to the stage for a finishers’ photo and a round of applause for their remarkable achievement.