Race 7: Close finish into debut Clipper Race Host Port, Sanya
An incredibly close finish to the hottest Leg of the Clipper Race from the Whitsundays, Australia, to debut Host Port of Sanya, China, saw all eleven Clipper Race teams finish the 4,300 nautical mile course within 21 hours.
After 23 days of racing, PSP Logistics, Qingdao, Dare To Lead, Sanya Serenity Coast, Unicef and Visit Seattle crossed the finish line during the night in China just outside Sanya’s Serenity Marina between 12:41 UTC and 20:38 UTC on Thursday 22nd February. Liverpool 2018, Nasdaq, Garmin, HotelPlanner.com and GREAT Britain arrived in daylight between 02:41 UTC and 09:07 UTC on Friday 23rd February.
PSP Logistics overtook Qingdao just days from finishing to claim first place, crossing the finish line at 12:41UTC, and although Qingdao was the second team to cross the line at 18:17:39 UTC, Dare To Lead’s redress of 1 hour 24 minutes means it took second place, with a revised finish time of 16.53 UTC. The redress was for going to the assistance of Liverpool 2018 during the fourth day of racing to transfer a spare part for the team’s onboard watermaker.
The Forever Tropical Paradise Race, the seventh of thirteen individual races, was a tough, hot endurance test that included a Doldrums Corridor, Equator crossing, King Neptune Ceremonies, a Scoring Gate and an Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint.
On arrival into Sanya, the organising committee put on a spectacular welcome for the podium teams and its team entry, Sanya Serenity Coast. The top placed teams were greeted by a lion dance procession which leading to the Clipper Race Arrivals Stage for a performance. Afterwards, the teams where presented with their pennants by members of the Sanya delegation and a Champagne spray finished off the celebrations.
Speaking about the race, which was also first win for PSP Logistics, Skipper Matt Michell said: “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.”
Speaking at the Serenity Coast Arrival Press Conference, Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper Wendy Tuck thanked Vice Mayor, Xu Zhenling, for the warm welcome and spoke about the tough race to the team home port. After Sir Robin announced that Sanya Serenity Coast will still lead the overall Clipper 2017-18 Race leaderboard, she said: “We don’t have to be the strongest, we need to be the smartest”
With the full fleet now in Sanya’s Serenity Marina, the only five gold anchor platinum status marina in Asia, a whole host of celebrations, tourist events and cultural experienced are planned for the coming week.
Kicking off the events is a tourism day tomorrow, Sunday 25 February, some 40 crew members from 8 different nationalities will be attending a special day of sightseeing to experience the very best of tropical Sanya; Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone and the Binlang Valley.
The Race Village will also open, and alongside sampling the finest local delicacies and enjoying the Tsingtao Beer Zone, locals, tourists and crew members can try their hands in the Lego building centre, test their sailing skills with model yacht races, show their fearless side with the Zorb Ball game area and take part in cosplay. The Clipper Race Dome will also open and visitors can experience what life is like on board, via virtual reality goggles, or try their skills at the Marlow Rope Knot Tying Station.