All Clipper boats now in Cape Town as back-markers cross the finish line

Qingdao Clipper 2015

After 3,400 nautical miles and 15 days racing across the South Atlantic Ocean, Qingdao and LMAX Exchange arrived in Cape Town within hours of each other on Monday 26 October.

The pair departed Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday 11 October to race on elapsed time in the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms. In another tight finish for this second race of the 40,000 mile global challenge, Qingdao overtook LMAX Exchange in the final 24 hours to be the ninth fastest team to complete the journey.  

Under one of the world’s most iconic landmarks Table Mountain, Qingdao crossed the finish line at 1131 UTC (1331 local time) and was followed LMAX Exchange at 1326 UTC. Qingdao Skipper Igor Gotlibovych paid tribute to the crew. He said: “The team has worked very hard to achieve a competitive race time in very difficult weather conditions, and recording fast boat speeds in the strong winds. They have shown great courage and endurance. Everyone has played their part in getting us to Cape Town safely.

“It was a match race with LMAX Exchange and we are very happy to have beaten them in this race because they are a strong team. We took the decision to go south and head for the Scoring Gate and are so pleased that it paid off.”

Qingdao picked up three bonus points by being the fastest team to reach the South Atlantic Scoring Gate. This manoeuvre meant that the team had to push down into the Southern Ocean to avoid the high pressure system and encountered challenging conditions in the notorious waters which circulate around Antarctica developing large waves without encountering land.

LMAX Exchange, which won the first race from London to Rio, has placed tenth in Race 2 with an elapsed time of 368 hours 16 minutes. After berthing in the V&A Waterfront, Skipper Olivier Cardin said: “It was difficult because we didn’t start with the other boats but in the beginning it was good because we had good speeds. We chose a different course to Qingdao and had some great days, covering 215 miles in one day. Unfortunately in the last five days there was a big high pressure system to overcome and it was very difficult. Qingdao went south of us to the Scoring Gate and under the high pressure.

“We concentrated on trimming and spent a long time with our spinnaker and white sails. So we held on but missed out to Qingdao in the end. Despite that, the morale on board has been great.”

The Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms was run on an elapsed time basis because LMAX Exchange and Qingdao had a delayed start. The yachts sustained rudder damage outside of racing during the stopover in Brazil and set sail three days after the rest of the fleet.

The race was won by GREAT Britain with a time of 14 days 2 hours 30 minutes, and it was followed by Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Garmin.

The final standings and points awarded for the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms are:
1stGREAT Britain (12 points)
2ndDerry~Londonderry~Doire (11 + 2 bonus points for being second through the Scoring Gate)
3rdGarmin (10 points)
4thMission Performance (9 points)
5thClipper Telemed+ (8 points )
6thDa Nang – Viet Nam (7 + 1 bonus point for being third through the Scoring Gate)
7thIchorCoal (6 + two bonus points for having the fastest Ocean Sprint time)
8thPSP Logistics (5 points)
9thQingdao (4 + 3 bonus points for the fastest time to the Scoring Gate)
10thLMAX Exchange (3 points)
11thVisit Seattle (2 points)
12thUnicef (1 point)

Penalty points have yet to be calculated for Race 2 but as it stands GREAT Britain and Derry~Londonderry~Doire top the Overall Race Standings with 23 points each. LMAX Exchange is in third and Qingdao in fourth. To see the Overall Race Standings table, click here.

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