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PSP Logistics victory in Sanya

PSP Logistics, Skippered by British sailor Matt Mitchell, has marked the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race’s first visit to Sanya in China by claiming a maiden win and fourth podium of the 2017-18 edition of the race.

After spending the past 23 days racing 4,300 nautical miles from the Whitsundays in Australia to Sanya, PSP Logistics crossed the finish line off the Sanya Serenity Coast Marina ion Thursday 22 February at 20:41:20 local time (12:41:20 UTC).

Upon arriving into the 5 Gold Anchor globally accredited marina, Skipper Matt Mitchell said he was very proud of this team’s victory: “It’s awesome. It was pretty tense with every schedule when we got the position reports in and each time it did, we thought we had dodged a bullet. We dodged the final bullet this morning and we’re really pleased we managed to hold the others off.”

A huge crowd of supporters and well-wishers were gathered to cheer PSP Logistics across the line and into port, with the team paraded with great fanfare by a lion dancer to the stage in the Clipper Race Village, where the Skipper and crew were presented with their winning pennant and officially welcomed to the tropical paradise that is Sanya.

Skipper Matt Mitchell said: “We’re happy to be here. It feels a bit overwhelming to be honest but we always knew arriving into China was going to be special.”

PSP Logistics overtook Qingdao for the lead in the final four days of the race. But light winds saw the fleet compress, with all of the teams expected to finish within 24 hours of each other.

Trevor Taylor, a 64-year-old Round The World crew member from Perth, Australia, said: “There were a few anxious moments over the last few days when we ran out of wind but luckily everybody else did too.”

Speaking about the arrival, he added: “The fireworks and all the “yahoo-ing” have made it really special. There are local people absolutely everywhere and it’s just fantastic.”

Round the world crew member Fiona Robertson, a British 34-year old Nurse, said: “We are finally a winner! It’s been a long time coming. The race was long, very hot, very sweaty. The last few days with the wind holes have been incredibly frustrating. We were just desperate to get here and we’re really happy to be finally here!”

This is the first win and fourth podium of the Clipper 2017-18 Race for PSP Logistics. The team was second across the line in the opening race from Liverpool, UK, to Punta del Este, Uruguay, and third in Fremantle and second in the Whitsundays in Australia.

Managing Director of PSP Logistics, Frank Dixie, said: “We have seen Team PSP Logistics show their continued determination and resilience as the Clipper Race has progressed. This particular race has been nail-biting throughout, too close to call most of the time and I have even been waking up at intervals throughout the night to check for progress on the Race Viewer! It doesn’t get any better than this!

All of us at PSP are extremely proud of Matt and the team for this incredible achievement and we are very much looking forward to celebrating with them in Sanya.”

With the Race 7 victory, PSP Logistics picks up twelve points, which will see the team move up in the overall standings although its position will depend on how the remaining teams place.

Around 200 people from all walks of life and representing 22 different nationalities are taking part in the fifth of eight Legs that make up the Clipper 2017-18 Race.

The Clipper Race is seen as one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges and is unique in that it is raced by everyday people with each of the eleven teams being led by a professional skipper. In 1996, legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968-69, founded the race as a way to give everyone, no matter their sailing experience, the chance to become an ocean racer. Approximately 40 per cent of crew members have never sailed before they sign up for the 40,000 nautical miles circumnavigation, which is divided into eight legs and features six ocean crossings.

The eleven Clipper Race yachts, along with their crew and supporters, will be based at Sanya Serenity Coast Marina and will enjoy the activities and excitement of the Clipper Race Village – a hub featuring food stalls, model yacht racing and the Clipper Race Dome where people can experience what it is like on board, via virtual reality goggles, or try their skills at the Marlow Rope Knot Tying Station.

Race 8, which will see the teams head approximately 1,700 nautical miles to Qingdao starts on 4 March. From there, teams will head across the mighty Pacific Ocean to Seattle, before racing to Panama, New York, Derry-Londonderry, and Liverpool, where the Clipper 2017-18 Race will finish on July 28, 2018.

 by Morgan Kasmarik

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