After conquering 40,000 miles and facing some of Mother Nature’s greatest trials the 12-strong Clipper Race fleet arrived back at St Katharine’s Dock London after 11 months on Saturday where Chinese team, Qingdao stepped on stage as the winners of Henri Lloyd Clipper Race Seamanship Award.
Skipper of Qingdao, Gareth Glover and his team were presented with the special award by joint CEOs of Henri Lloyd, Paul and Martin Strzelecki. The award was voted for by the public after the team went to the rescue of Mission Performance when two crew members were injured and had to be medevac’d off the boat during Race 7 from Hobart, Tasmania to Brisbane, Australia.
A fire then broke out in the engine room of Mission Performance and Qingdao ceased racing to assist them, towing the yacht back into Hobart. Two Qingdao crew members then joined the Mission Performance team so it had enough crew members to be able to restart the race.
Skipper, Gareth Glover, was honoured to accept the coveted award on behalf of his team, “Winning the Henri Lloyd Clipper Race Seamanship Award is a huge honour and I’m extremely proud of my crew. I didn’t think anything could top how we feel after completing this incredible global challenge, but this award really does mean so much to us.”
“I think I speak for the whole team when I say what an unbelievable experience this last year has been for all of us. You step on board with a group of people who have never met before and within days you start to build your team and see these amateur sailors become and behave like professional seasoned sailors. I’m proud of each and every one of them.” Added Gareth.
Clipper Race Chairman and Founder, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said, “The safety of our crew is fundamental when undertaking the Clipper Race global challenge. Qingdao put their desire to win to one side and ceased racing to help another team who needed their help. I’m extremely proud of their actions and they are in my eyes very worthy winners.”
Paul Strzelecki, Joint CEO for Henri Lloyd, presented the award to Gareth and the team along with his brother Martin Strzelecki. He said, “It’s a very proud moment for everyone at Henri Lloyd. This award is in recognition of the team’s selfless actions and nothing represents the pioneering spirit needed in ocean racing more than Qingdao’s actions.”
The team was awarded the Henri Lloyd Clipper Race Seamanship Award trophy with its name engraved on the base, along with £250 in Henri Lloyd vouchers.