After fighting to keep their yacht moving in fickle winds, Gold Coast Australia is
the first yacht in the ten-strong fleet to finish Race 10 to Panama
this morning, taking their eighth win out of ten races in the Clipper
11-12 Round the World Yacht Race.
After 18 days at sea the Gold Coast Australia entry finished
the race from Oakland, San Francisco Bay to Panama at 0844UTC this
morning (Tuesday), when they crossed their mandatory gate for Race 10.
Tasmanian skipper Richard Hewson said, “I am ecstatic with my crew’s performance in light fickle winds and extreme heat. Team Gold Coast Australia sailed like true professionals over the past few days making the most of wind shifts and squeezing every drop of speed that Gold Coast Australia had to offer.
“I would like to congratulate the other yachts on their performance in
such challenging conditions. The last few hours of the race dolphins
guided us towards the finish line as we left a long trail of
phosphorescence in our wake making it a near perfect finish.”
Queenslander Wayne Reed, one of the round the world crew members from Gold Coast Australia,
shares the enthusiasm. Describing the conditions the Army Officer said,
“This race brought with it a vast range of different challenges to the
previous leg crossing the Pacific Ocean.
“Stifling heat and windless days that tested our sail trimming skills
to the limit were the order of the day and we soon settled into the
routine. There is no doubt that sailing well in light airs and flat seas
is more demanding than heavier wind and three metre seas.
“Our race was once again, a close tussle with our two nearest rivals,
and how fantastic to now be celebrating another yellow (Australian Gold)
The top half of the leader board is still fighting out the battle for
second and third place, which should be decided later today. The whole
fleet is set to arrive in Panama later this week, where the boats will await their slot to pass through the canal before commencing Race 11 to New York
The race started in Southampton, UK on 31 July 2011 and will end there
on 22 July 2012 after taking 51 weeks to travel over 40,000 miles
visiting 15 ports of call on six continents.