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Gold Coast Australia wins China-US Leg 6 of Clipper Race

by Shelbi Okumura on 1 Apr 2012
Gold Coast Australia arrives in Oakland, San Francisco Bay, on 30 March after crossing the Race 9 finish line first in the race across the Pacific Ocean from China. The Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race started from Southampton on the south coast of the UK on 31 July 2011. The route will take the crews of the ten, onEdition © http://www.onEdition.com
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge marked the finish line of the 6,000 mile stage from China to the U.S. for the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. The first boat to cross the finish line on Friday, March 30, at 7:16 p.m. was Gold Coast Australia which is currently in first place overall.

This was the longest leg of the world’s longest ocean race and for the amateur crews on board the fleet of ten yachts, the California coastline was a welcome sight after a punishing Pacific Ocean crossing which saw the fleet hit by storms and waves the size of buildings resulting in two medical evacuations. The rest of the fleet will arrive over the next three days.

New York, the only U.S. entry in the Clipper race is currently in third place around 207 miles behind the lead boat, as they are fighting off close rival Derry-Londonderry to keep their fourth podium position. Additionally, San Francisco local Lisa Perkin is on board New York and will complete her third and final leg of the race which includes Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town; Australia to Singapore; and China to Oakland – more than 16,000 nautical miles and 85 days at sea when she lands in Oakland.

The New York team is pushing hard to clinch a prestigious podium place with only 30 miles between them and their nearest rival Derry-Londonderry. The next leg of the race will be a coast-to-coast battle from California to their home port – New York via the Panama Canal.

After crossing the finish line under the Golden Gate Bridge, the yachts sailed to Jack London Square in Oakland, California, where each of the 10, 68-foot stripped down ocean racing yachts were greeted by cheering locals. Crews were welcomed with fresh food and a drink to toast their survival of the infamous Pacific crossing.

'This is one of the toughest and longest stages of the race,' said Clipper Race Director Jonathan Bailey. 'The crews have been taking quite a pounding over the last 24 days, enduring high winds, enormous waves and more on their Pacific crossing, so they all will enjoy the warm welcome awaiting them in Oakland/ San Francisco Bay Area.'

The Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race started on July 31, 2011, in Southampton on the UK’s south coast and will travel more than 40,000 miles to return to the city on July 22, 2012. The Clipper Race is crewed by amateurs, from all walks of life. Only 3,000-4,000 people in the world have given up their day jobs to accomplish this race. This is the eighth edition of the biennial event which was established in 1996 by British sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world.

The Clipper race fleet will be a key feature of the 2012 Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show which runs Thursday, April 12 to Sunday, April 15, attendees will be able to talk with crew members and see the race yachts up close. The Clipper Race departs for the next leg of the global race on Saturday, April 14.
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