Zhuhai secures third in race to Seattle

25 April 2024

After 27 days at sea, there was only 5 minutes between Zhuhai and its closest competitors at the finish of Race 10: Ultimate test of Perserverance. With most of the fleet finishing the North Pacific crossing within 42 minutes of each other, third to tenth place, Zhuhai led the finishers into the Seattle Sound and was the first of many overnight arrivals.

“It was great to arrive in Seattle, it's an amazing city. We had a beautiful motor in, surrounded by fantastic scenery, lovely mountains, then you come round the corner into the Sound and the city scape hits you, incredible.” Says Mike Davies, Zhuhai AQP.

Explaining what it was like in the final hours of the race to Seattle Mike said: “We were in sixth and one point we even dropped down into seventh. It was a real nail biter. I woke up in the morning and there were just four or five boats right round us, some higher, some lower than us, some doing two knots, some doing ten knots. It was just give and take, and a little bit of luck here and there who has the wind when and what angles you are doing. Fortunately, we had the right wind at the right time and the perfect angle to come intothe finish line.

“We have just finished in third, plus two bonus points but it means we are still in third overall on the leaderboard. We did the calculations earlier, and I think we are about ten points behind Perserverance and seven behind Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, they had an absolutely amazing race, we tried to keep up with them and just couldn't.”

Zhuhai has so far placed in the top three six times; one win, two seconds, and with this latest result, three thirds. Currently sitting in third place on the overall leaderboard, with just four races remaining and its Joker still to play, competition remains fierce.

On the conditions the team faced in the North Pacific he added: “It was full of ups and downs; the crew were fantastic.

“Really nice conditions at the start to break everyone into the boat and get used to the cold weather. Then we had the fantastic low-pressuresystem come through big, big sea state and fast downwind sailing. After that we had what felt like15 days of beating, that's when it really tested us. Tested the boats, the crew, tested our nerves. Tiredness, being able to eat, seasickness, and upwind takes its toll on the boat. We pulled through and then the end was in sight and the last week was glorious sailing, blue skies, sunshine, kite up, beam reaching, it was gorgeous. We were hunting down the pack of four and hoping we could somehow get into third and we pulled it off.

On completion of the longest and one of the toughest races of the circumnaviagtion, the Zhuhai Organising Committee congratulated the team, saying: "Today's victory is a testament to the unwavering commitment, exceptional teamwork, and relentless pursuit of excellence that defines the Zhuhai team. Your sixth podium finish is not just a win for your team but an inspiration to all who aspire to reach for the stars. Keep pushing the limits and setting new benchmarks for sailing enthusiasts worldwide.

“We join in your celebration of this hard-earned victory and are grateful for the exemplary sportsmanship, teamwork, and maritime proficiency demonstrated by the Zhuhai team. May this success be a harbinger of even greater accomplishments to come.

“Once again, congratulations on this significant milestone. We look forward to witnessing more of your triumphs.”

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