Visit Seattle wins Race 13, the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge

22 July 2016

The Visit Seattle team has crossed the Race 13 finish line, achieving its first overall race win and second podium of the series.

The team crossed the finish line off Den Helder, The Netherlands, at 0016UTC/0216 local time following the race from Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Following regular major shakeups of the leaderboard since the race began due to strong tidal gates around Scotland and patchy, shifty wind, Visit Seattle had managed to hold onto the lead for the last two days.

Upon finishing the penultimate race of the series, Visit Seattle Skipper Huw Fernie said: “It was a great race. We've had a little bit of everything out here during this sprint of a race and we've seen many moods from the North Sea.The first tactical decision was getting through the Pentland Firth in a favourable tide. We we focused on efficiency and made good use of our Yankee 1. As we approached the Pentland Firth I really didn't think we would make it back to the front runners.

"We came through that in fourth, then it was a case of working the tides down the coast. You could tell the boats that had the local knowledge, and even though I have done that trip several times, I didn’t think we would catch up with ClipperTelemed+.

“It then took about two days to work our way into first position, and then we held that. We knew this was going to be a tough one with the changeable forecast, and that any lead you had was liable to change - especially towards the end. It never felt like we had it in the bag.

“It was very stressful and tiring. We have led other races before and we have never let it stick so that was in my head a bit.

“We are good in short races, it is who we are. We kept the focus and the overall the race win has what we have been working for since the start.

“It was my team’s drive and input that got us to where we are and I am immensely proud. As always, it's been fun,” Huw added.

Celebrating its first podium, PSP Logistics crossed the Race 13 finish line in second place at 0117 UTC/0317 local time.

Skipper Max Stunnell said: "I am still speechless. That was a lot of hard work and I am very proud of the crew. There was a lot of pushing and not a lot of sleep.

"We were very lucky at Pentland Firth as we were trailing the fleet after a kitemare. When we came round the corner at Pentland Firth the fleet as parked up in the extreme tidal conditions, and we sailed past.

"Our 40,000 nautical miles of luck came all in one go. I knew the crew have got it within them, and we have always set out to get a podium. Unfortunately it has happened this late in the race, and we have a taste for it now. However, it is a really nice way to finish the series and great to go out on a high. It's been a long time coming but we never gave up and I'm so proud of them all. Bring on the next race," Max added.

And Da Nang - Viet Nam has clinched the third podium spot, crossing the finish line at 0217 UTC.

Skipper Wendy Tuck said: "What a race - it had a bit of everything. This short racing sure keeps you on your toes. I'm really happy with our result and the crew worked hard to get us here and finish up in third position. Well done to Visit Seattle on its win and extra well done to PSP Logistics on its first podium, we are really happy for you guys."

Derry~Londonderry~Doire finished Race 13 at 0241UTC, finishing in fourth place ahead of rival and overall leader LMAX Exchange.

LMAX Exchange crossed the finish line in fifth at 0419UTC followed by GREAT Britain at 0531UTC.

The battle for seventh place was particularly close with Garmin finishing at 0625 UTC, just three minutes ahead of Unicef at 0628 UTC.

To read quotes and see photos the teams placed fourth to eighth, click here.

Upon arrival into Den Helder, the teams were treated to Dutch delicacy raw herring, along with shots of the Jenever drink.

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