At 1043 UTC Unicef was the first team to pass through the Scoring Gate in the PSP Logistics Panama Cup to take the maximum three points on offer. Skipper Martin Clough and his crew were followed less than one hour later by ClipperTelemed+ at 1127 UTC which receives two points as a result. This is a momentous moment for both teams as these are the first bonus points they’ve won throughout the circumnavigation so far, proving that they’ve never given up the will to win.

Following notification from the Skippers of this achievement, Race Director Justin Taylor says: “An impressive second place on Race 9 for Unicef has been followed by three extra points for them first yacht to cross the Scoring Gate on Race 10. This team seems to have really found their stride and are certainly mixing it up for the top competitors, who thought that dominance was theirs. Not so, and I look forward to the final stages of the 2015-16 race becoming even tighter.”

ClipperTelemed+’s achievement in being second through the gate is particularly impressive given Skipper Matt Mitchell and his crew were late starters in Race 10. Justin adds: “This is nothing short of a monumental effort by the ClipperTelemed+ Skipper and crew. Starting seven and half hours after the rest of the fleet due to a damaged mast track has meant that they have had to pay particularly close attention to the meteorology. Now they are in light airs and are having to knit together areas of wind pressure to make good speed is doubly impressive. But this is half the story…it would have been so easy for them to have given up any hope of coming back and of course it is not over yet. This shows first class team dynamics and leadership.”

If having only 44 minutes between the first and second teams through the gate was tight, then the battle for third was even closer. Derry~Londonderry~Doire emerged from Stealth Mode at 1200 UTC and reappeared on the Race Viewer in third place, 1.5 nautical miles ahead of LMAX Exchange. In a bitter battle till the end, the Northern Irish entry held on to that small lead to take the final point at 1308 UTC, thus aiding Skipper Daniel Smith and his crew, who currently lie second in the Overall Race Standings, to reduce overall frontrunner LMAX Exchange’s lead over them by a point.*

“Congratulations to all three teams. This is shaping up to be an exciting race for all of the crew and for everyone following at home,” Justin concluded.

There is still the chance for all the teams to win another two bonus points with the Ocean Sprint coming up along the coast of Mexico. For the sprint, position is irrelevant because it is a time trial meaning every team has a chance of coming away with the additional points.

*Bonus points will not appear on the Overall Race Standings until Race 10 has been completed and all photographic evidence of the positions and times have been verified by the Race Office upon arrival in Panama.

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