Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - One of the tightest races ever
by Amy Martindale on 28 Nov 2013
In the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, after 5,000 miles of racing, less than four minutes separated four yachts at the finish line of Race 4 off Albany Waterfront Marina in Western Australia in a spectacular finish witnessed by cheering crowds.
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Old Pulteney finished in eight position at 09.54 UTC, (17:54.42 local time), with Derry~Londonderry~Doire coming in ninth position at 09.56.43 UTC (17:56:43 local time), Mission Performance came in in tenth position at 09:58.27 UTC (17:58:27 local time), just pipping Invest Africa who went over the line seconds later.
Mission Performance was flying its spinnaker and had managed to overhaul Invest Africa an hour before who fell back three places in the last hour.
Mission Performance skipper Matt Mitchell said: 'The tension was unbelievable and the atmosphere was electric. We were the only boat of the four that decided to fly the spinnaker on the way in and it really paid off.
'We managed to secure an extra place and a point after the battle with Invest Africa. At one point our kite collapsed and I thought they were going to take the advantage, but then it filled again and we just managed to claw back our lead. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the crew. They were phenomenal.'
Old Pulteney skipper Patrick van der Zijden added that it was a very exciting finish after a tense and very long day.
'The result was good and we’re very pleased. It was an amazing experience. Thankfully we were the first over the line, but it has been a very tough and cold leg. Everyone got a baptism early on to appreciate what the Southern Ocean is really like. We’re all very pleased to be here.'
Race director Justin Taylor said: 'It was a very exciting and close finish and it always amazes me that the boats finish so close together after racing 5,000 miles through the incredible conditions they have seen. It just goes to show how closely matched the yachts are and proves how hard the skipper and crews work.'
The Clipper Race teams have a short stopover in Albany before starting Race 5 to Sydney on 3 Clipper Round the World