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Clipper Hull & Humber, winner of Race 7 in Hawaii

'Hull & Humber arriving in at the Ala Wai
harbour in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the crew celebrating their victory with injured round the worlder Fred Hulcoop on the dockside who meet them'    Clipper Ventures PLC ©
Clipper Hull & Humber, winner of Race 7, arrived in Ala Wai harbour, Honolulu, at 0745 (1745 GMT) on Tuesday 18 March. She was followed ten minutes later by New York, who finished second in the 4,400-mile race across the Pacific from Qingdao, China, to Hawaii.

Skipper Danny Watson said, 'It's good to get a podium, it's been a while, hasn't it? We had first place in La Rochelle, then line honours in Durban and went down to fourth and we seem to have been consistently fourth since then. But great for us to get in. The guys have always believed that one of the objectives is to strive for a podium position, so it's nice to get it. It really has been some time.'

Round the world crew member, Quentin Thompson from Beverley, East Yorkshire, said, 'It's excellent, it was well deserved and we've fought hard all the way. For all the race was cut short, it didn't detract from that and it was really hard.'

A beaming Thea Clifford, one of the members of the ten-strong ONE Hull Tag Team sailing on Hull & Humber, said, 'It was a lot harder than I expected it to be, I wasn't expecting it to be easy by any measure but I'm really proud I've got through it without kicking anyone or crying or even shouting at Danny and the crew has really helped push me up. I can't believe I've done it. It's been absolutely brilliant.'

Rachel Axcell, another round the worlder from Caistor, Lincolnshire, said, 'The best thing was the variety of the sailing. We anchored, we had snowball fights and now we're here in the sunshine.'

The yacht, representing the Hull and Humber area of the north east of England, is crewed by amateur sailors and led by a professional skipper and is the first of ten internationally-backed yachts competing in the race to arrive in Hawaii.

The other nine yachts, including the US entry and the two that were dismasted during the rigorous Pacific crossing, will arrive during today and tomorrow, with the final entry, expected at the weekend. She left Midway Island yesterday afternoon following a short pitstop to allow the crew to take on more fuel and provisions for the final 1,000-miles of their journey.

Durban 2010 and Beyond is expected in the marina at 1600 local (0200 GMT Wednesday 18 March) following her dismasting last Thursday. The crew includes Hull university lecturer Mandy Brown from Pocklington.

With half of the races completed, the American entry, New York, is shooting up the table following a second place on this latest race to add to three first places the team has already won. New York arrived in the Ala Wai shortly after Hull & Humber this morning. Skipper Duggie Gillespie said, 'I'm more than happy with second place - we just could not catch that boat in front, Hull & Humber, they've done brilliantly.'

The Clipper Race Team will also be calling on the skills of local companies to aid the repairs to the masts and rigging of and overall race leader, Durban 2010 and Beyond, the two yachts dismasted during the race from Qingdao. No-one was hurt in either incident.

This is the sixth edition of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race and it has called into Hawaii on all but one occasion, the Clipper 05-06 Race being the exception. This race marks a return to the Ala Wai following the Clipper 2002 Race fleet's stopover in Ko Olina Marina.

by Clipper Ventures Media


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2:47 AM Wed 19 Mar 2008 GMT

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