Unicef arrives in Rio

02 October 2015

It’s official, after 32 days at sea, all the Clipper 2015-16 Race teams have made it to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Unicef berthed in Marina da Gloria at 0750 local time (1150UTC) where the other teams had gathered to greet Skipper Jim Prendergast and the crew. It was followed an hour later by IchorCoal.

Having faced all the challenges Mother Nature threw at them on their 5,600 nautical mile adventure across the Atlantic Ocean, Skipper Jim says everyone on Unicef made the most of the experience: “Morale was high the whole way through the race, the crew made sure of that. They were all excited to be in an ocean racing other boats. We had some beautiful downwind conditions that were fast and really fun. The boat is great fun whether that’s at the back of the fleet or at the front. The crew gave it their all.

“It was tremendously exciting, frustrating at times - it was a rollercoaster really. We had a poor start due to a couple of broken halyards, then we fought our way back into the middle of the fleet only to get caught again, then we fought our way back again before hitting the Doldrums. I think we have finished lamentably in twelfth place, but the crew is very excited to be here, they are pleased about what we have achieved and we had a great trip.”

Janice Tadros, from Australia is a round the world crew member on Unicef who lives in London. Having witnessed the Clipper 2013-14 Race Start at St Katharine Docks, she was inspired to sign up. What was once a dream for the 55-year-old teacher is becoming reality. Upon arrival in Rio, Janice said: “I had never sailed before and always wanted to sail around the world. I remember seeing the last race leave from St Katharine’s Dock and thought to myself – I need to do that!

“I have no regrets so far, there are no daily worries. I’ve loved not having any communications outside of the boat when you are on board - it’s the ultimate living in the moment experience. We all stank after about week two, we couldn’t stand the smell of ourselves or anybody else but after a while you get used to it. We got on really well as a team, morale on board our boat was good, and we ate and slept well.”

With Race 2, the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms starting on 7 October, Unicef is determined to climb up the race standings. Skipper Jim added: “We run a very generalist boat so everyone had an equal amount of helming, I have about six people who can lead a watch, I’ve got people going forward who are tremendously excited and others going home who are going to support us the rest of the way round the world.

“We took some damage in a couple of windy incidents but only to equipment, not people, so everyone is happy. I think we have got good building blocks moving forward to get better results in future races.”

IchorCoal berthed in Marina da Gloria at 0845UTC and was greeted by rapturous applause after its particularly challenging and emotional journey in the Atlantic Trade Winds Leg. Skipper and crew quotes will follow shortly.

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