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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Final teams arrive in port

by Heather Ewing on 25 Jan 2012
Visit Finland races past Surfers Paradise at the start of the race from the Gold Coast to Singapore in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. Steve Holland/onEdition
Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet are on day thirty three of race seven, from the Gold Coast to Singapore.

The final three entries of the Clipper 11-12 Race fleet have arrived in Batam after completing Race 7 of the 40,000-mile marathon.

Race seven has proved challenging for the whole fleet and the yachts have motor-sailed in company for the past week due to lack of winds and increased piracy risks, which saw the Race Committee deciding to finish the race earlier than originally planned. Race winners Gold Coast Australia, the Northern Irish runner up, Derry-Londonderry, and Geraldton Western Australia in third position, arrived in Batam on Monday.

Visit Finland, Edinburgh Inspiring Capital and Welcome to Yorkshire arrived in Nongsa Point Marina after racing 4,600 miles across the South Pacific to the South China Sea.

It is a disappointing result for the Finnish team which is second in the overall standings and has already appeared on the podium four times in the previous six races.

'It has been quite an adventure. Our drop from first position in the last race to eighth in this has been a bit of a shocker,' explained skipper, Olly Osborne.

'We decided to go for a more direct route to the other teams, which unfortunately didn’t work in our favour. But we are looking forward to a spectacular welcome ceremony in Singapore, which I’m sure will be a big morale booster,' he continued.

Finnish crew member, Riikka Puustinen, said, 'It was a very difficult race, so it’s wonderful to be here. It’s beautiful weather, there is plenty of beer and we are on dry land, which is great.'

Edinburgh Inspiring Capital arrived to cheers from their fellow ocean racers as the Scottish team donned their Kinloch-Anderson kilts in the City of Edinburgh tartan.

'It’s been a fantastic, but very challenging race,' revealed Gordon Reid, skipper of the Scottish entry.

'The weather conditions were so changeable with everything from lots of squalls and to sitting in wind holes and hardly moving for up to 24 hours during the longest periods. So it’s great to arrive here in paradise on Batam,' the skipper said.

Despite being thousands of miles from home the Scottish traditions haven’t been forgotten. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital arrived just at the right time to embrace Burns Night.

'Last night we celebrated round one of Burns Night on board the boat and had haggis and some whisky. And we are planning to repeat the celebrations again tonight being on dry land,' Gordon said.

Anne Young from Glasgow got on board Edinburgh Inspiring Capital in Gold Coast Australia as a new crew member, swapping life as an optometrist with a life changing experience at sea.

'The race has been absolutely fantastic and I loved every minute, although it’s great finally standing on dry land after four weeks at sea. It’s been very, very hot and being Scottish it’s been hard adapting to the hot weather, so I can’t wait to get to some air-conditioning in the resort,' she said.


Upon arriving in Batam, Welcome to Yorkshire’s skipper, Rupert Dean reflected on a tough race.

'The race has been a long one that’s for sure. It was a fascinating race and it has been a bit of a lottery due to the changeable weather conditions –but a fantastic interesting lottery to see who came out best in the end,' the skipper said.

'It’s great to be herein Batam now and we are very excited about our arrival ceremony in Singapore. We hear exciting costumes, performances and music awaits us – it will be a fantastic spectacle all round,' added Rupert.

Richard Hilson from Leeds got on board Welcome to Yorkshire in Queensland, Australia, as a new crew member, swapping his corporate life as a Head of User Experience for two months at sea from Gold Coast to Qingdao, China.

'It was a long, long race but there was lots of variety, which I was hoping for. Coming ninth isn’t great, but I’m in it for the experience. Saying that, I want to deliver for the skipper and the rest of the team, so we will continue to push ourselves for the next part of the race.'

As someone who openly admits to fearing the open sea, Richard is aiming to raise thousands of pounds for mental health charities through his participation. He was recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome after battling anxiety and depression and is facing his fears as he undertakes this challenge of a lifetime.

After a well-deserved few days of relaxation and boat maintenance, the ten 68-foot yachts competing in the world’s longest yacht race will cross the Singapore Straits to the Marina at Keppel Bay, Singapore, for a ceremonial arrival on Saturday 28 January.

Overall standings after Race seven:
1. Gold Coast Australia 73 points
2. Visit Finland 53 points
3. De Lage Landen 46 points
4. New York 40 points
5. Singapore 38 points
6. Welcome to Yorkshire 37 points
7. Derry-Londonderry 35 points
8. Qingdao 34 points
9. Geraldton Western Australia 31 points
10. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race website

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