Clipper Around the World Yachts Race – LMAX Exchange has crossed the finish line in Sydney, taking line honours in race four, after 2,088 nautical miles from Albany through the Southern Ocean on the Elliot Brown Timekeeper Cup. It crossed the line at 1901 AEDT/0801 UTC, December 12.
LMAX Exchange had a 35 nautical mile lead on a chasing pack of three yachts fighting it out for the remaining two podium places, with GREAT Britain edging ahead of Garmin today and seven nautical miles currently separating the boats.
They are due to arrive into Sydney between 0100 tonight and 0300 Sunday, local time.
During race four, LMAX Exchange took the maximum 17 points on offer by also winning the Ocean Sprint (two points) and Scoring Gate (three points).
“The whole team is really happy to have secured maximum points to reclaim the top of the overall leaderboard,” said French skipper Olivier Cardin.
“We knew what we needed to do and were totally focussed throughout. The team are to be congratulated for a great performance. The victory has been hard fought and is well earned.
“This was the best win yet. It was a complete race with everything from a tornado two miles away which was very impressive to big waves, upwind sailing close to the other teams and big surfing downwind doing more than 30 knots.
“We are now going to prepare for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race we are competing in with all the Clipper Race fleet. We prepared the boat well in Albany and didn’t have any damage so we will be doing the same again here to be ready,” Olivier added.
LMAX Exchange French crew member Cathy Lorho is from Sydney and has now realised her dream of sailing half way round the world into her home port.
She said: ‘I am so happy because I was born in Brittany, France, and I always dreamt of sailing across the world like the first people leaving home forever to come to Australia. This was my dream and it has come true.
“I migrated to Australia 15 years ago and Sydney is home, although I still have a French accent. It was fantastic to sail into Sydney Harbour this evening and see the Harbour Bridge and Opera House and reflect on the journey since leaving London.
‘I have all my friends and family here in Sydney and it is very special. I feel quite emotional now.
‘I didn’t know that the Southern seas were so tough. We won the race but we had to work very hard for it,’ Cathy added.
Six more yachts are due in on Sunday 13 December, including Da Nang – Viet Nam with the race’s first female Australian Skipper at the helm, Wendy Tuck (58). Wendy is a veteran of eight Sydney-Hobarts and is looking forward to sailing into her home port.
However, the first three yachts to arrive into Sydney will be US entry Visit Seattle, Chinese team Qingdao and Unicef.
The distinctive blue livery of Unicef is expected to stand out in Sydney Harbour. The Clipper Race named Unicef as its official charity and gifted a branded yacht to mark the event’s tenth edition to promote UNICEF’s global work with children, particularly across the multiple humanitarian emergencies that have put children in danger throughout 2015.
Alongside the Unicef yacht crew all twelve teams have chosen to raise funds for Unicef’s work to build a safer world for children. To date crew members have raised more than £140,000 for children’s health, education and protection programs against a target in excess of £300,000.
Unicef Australia Fundraising Director Michael Newsome said Unicef was delighted to welcome the Clipper Race and the international contingent of crew members to Sydney.
“We are extremely excited to see the race make it to Sydney and grateful for the incredible support shown to Unicef by the Clipper Race and crew,” he said.
The Australia leg consists of three races; the first started in Albany, WA to Sydney NSW on 1 December following races from London, Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town.
The second is the famous bluewater classic the RSHYR on Boxing Day 26 December.
Third and finally on 2 January the fleet heads to Airlie Beach, gateway to the picturesque Whitsundays.
The teams will have to cross the infamous Bass Strait a total of three times. After Australia the race heads for Vietnam, China, USA, Panama and back to Europe, finishing in London on 30 July 2016.
The remaining two teams ClipperTelemed+ and PSP Logistics are due to arrive in Sydney Monday, 14 December.