Clipper race to Rio is now finished

After 676 hours of non stop competition, Race 2 from La Rochelle to Rio
de Janeiro officially ended at 12.00 GMT today. This followed the
issuing of amended Sailing Instructions which were received by the fleet
24 hours ago. Those teams that had already crossed the finish line will
be awarded the relevant finishing position, while the others will be
awarded the position based on their distance to finish as of noon today.
Team Finland, Spirit of Australia and Jamaica Lightning Bolt took the
three podium positions, with Cape Breton Island and Cork, Ireland also
crossing the finish line this morning.

Sixth place now goes to Qingdao, seventh to Hull & Humber, eight to
Uniquely Singapore and ninth to Edinburgh Inspiring Capital. California
had already accepted tenth place when light winds seriously hampered
their attempt to make it to Rio in time for the start of Race 3 next

Ending the race is this way is a standard procedure used in both ocean
racing and around the cans events and is called into play by race
organisers who must ensure they meet the goals of the teams, the
spectators and the overall event.

The decision is not one that was taken lightly. In all around the world
yacht races, the first priority is the safety of the crews and their
boats and this is most certainly the case with the Clipper Race. Race 3
is due to start on Tuesday 27 October and it is important from the point
of view of good seamanship that the teams get the opportunity to prepare
themselves and their boats correctly for the next stage of the race,
which will take them towards the Southern Ocean on the way to Cape Town,
South Africa.

Qingdao and Hull & Humber are expected to arrive at the marina tomorrow
(Wednesday), while Uniquely Singapore and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital
look likely to arrive on Friday. With 732 miles still to run, California
is expected on Saturday, giving them just four days to prepare for sea
again and highlights why the organizers took the decision to end the
race now.

Jim Dobie, skipper of Uniquely Singapore, commented, “It's never nice
not to go through a finish line and to still have to motor/sail a few
days to get to your destination, but I fully support the race
committee's decision and understand why there was the need. This race
has been a tough one, not from the physical side but from the mental
high's and lows and the agonizing play of events.” However, Jim ends
with a positive, saying 'Watch out. The red boat is up for revenge!”

On board Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, a similar mood prevails, Skipper
Matt Pike reported, “It's been a long hard race and the work the crew
have put in does not reflect on our finishing position. We have had
setbacks with gear failure and some very fickle winds. But we will learn
from our mistakes and be ready for the sprint to Cape Town.”

What can be guaranteed is the warmth of the welcome the crews of these
boats will receive from their competitors as they finally step ashore
and begin to appreciate the scale of their achievement. They have all
just sailed one of the major oceans of the world!

Positions at 1500GMT, Monday 19 October

Boat Finish Time (GMT)
1 Team Finland 15:00:36 (19/10/2009) N/A
2 Spirit of Australia 00:25:43 M/A
3 Jamaica Lightning Bolt 04:40:31 N/A
4 Cape Breton Island 09:05:10 N/A
5 Cork 09:17:03 N/A
6 Qingdao N/A
7 Hull & Humber N/A 241nm
8 Uniquely Singapore N/A 589nm
9 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital N/A 650nm
10California N/A 732nm

Race Yachts
West Systems
West Systems