Clipper Race: Sprint from Bermuda – Qingdao take the Race 13 win

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The 700nm mile Race 13 from Bermuda to New York had an upwind start. This four to five day race then quickly became a tactical battle to navigate the light patches ahead. Once the breeze kicked in though, a drag race between teams began and continued for the last 100 miles to the Finish Line.

With no Scoring Gate or Ocean Sprint to compete for, line results meant everything. And with no Stealth Mode available either, the teams could not hide any tactical decisions from each other. With less than 20nm separating the first and fifth place team, this highly competitive race gave followers a nail-biting finish.

Qingdao – First Place

Leading for the last 24 hours of the race, Qingdao held firmly onto the top spot, crossing the line at 03:19 UTC on the 24 June 2022.

This gives the team 11 points and a solid lead on the overall standings. This win is also the fifth first place for Qingdao and its seventh podium position.

Skipper Chris Brooks said: “We are so pleased to finish in 1st place to New York. We enjoyed some great tactical racing with the fleet, particularlyPunta de Este, over the last 36hrs. We really didn’t know who would win down to the final hour. The team have excelled as always! Its great to race, having had rest and some time to prepare in Bermuda and its always great to put in a good performance.

“This race had it all from wind holes to surfing with the code in 35knots of wind, pushing boat speeds near 20kts. A big welcome back and thank you to my team Qingdao. They are back in their A game. I’m very proud of them all. Thank you to all our supporters for the voices of encouragement!”

The Qingdao Major International Sailing Events (Festivals) Organizing Committee sent a congratulatory message to the team which represents them around the world:

“Congratulations! The vast Atlantic Ocean witnessed your bravery, tenacity and unity. You showed the world the charm of the Sailing City of Qingdao, a vibrant ocean city and a liveable and lovable city with your remarkable performance. We wish you greater results in the final race with your persistent efforts!”

Punta del Este – Second Place

Biting at its heels was Punta del Este, finishing in second place at 03:58:25 UTC, 23:58:25 LT. Skipper Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez reported from the line: “We did it! Another success for Punta del Este. We managed to produce a well fought 2nd place on Race 13. Another podium position for the crew and Punta del Este supporters to enjoy. Race 13 was challenging from the beginning, just leaving the wonderful Bermuda was hard enough, followed by strong winds, wind holes, close quarter battles, specially the one we had with Qingdao. The crew, Nano and I are tired now but having the satisfaction of a job well done.”

Yacht Club Punta del Este Commodore Juan Etcheverrito congratulated the team: “Once again you glued us to the viewer the last couple of hours, but this time it paid off, and we are celebrating since the yellow dot touched the Green finish line.

“Nice to know that “dot” has a soul of its own and carries a crew to be proud of every time, over and over again… now relax, rest, eat, fix and get ready for next!”

WTC Logistics- Third Place

After battling closely with Zhuhai managed to clinch third place crossing the Finish Line just behind Punta del Este at 04:24:00 UTC.

Dan Jones, Skipper, said: “What a spectacular finish – five boats all within an hour! We battled with Punta del Este for 2nd place for half a day but in the end they had a better angle and were sailing very fast.

“We had Zhuhai worrying us at the finish closing the gap to us quickly, and then we had the wind die as we were 1 mile from the line! Yikes. The crew are incredibly happy and they deserve it. Shows our new joiners what WTC Logistics is about!”

Congratulating the team, Anthony Clarke, Operations Director at WTC Logistics said: “Dan, Ineke, and our amazing Crew, wow what a week this has been on the Race Viewer. I don’t recall seeing so many boats in such close proximity during the race. Congratulations on coming in third .You guys never cease to surprise us, one minute at the back of the fleet, and then to finish so strongly is such an achievement, of which you all should be proud of, especially the new crew that joined in Bermuda.

“We will be glued to Clipper Race Live, cheering you all on as you arrive, and wishing I was there to greet you all individually and tell you what amazing ambassadors you are, and how immensely proud you make us.”

In fourth place was Zhuhai who crossed the line at 04:42:43 UTC

Skipper Patrick van der Zijden said: “It has taken a lot of sweat and tears, before finishing this short sprint from beautiful Bermuda to the Big Apple. We worked hard to stay in first and we held it long, but as always in racing, things do not always go as planned. After more wind holes we came out 3rd and tried to stay with the frontrunners, but a gusty night took its toll and destroyed one of our kites. Licking our wounds we opted for a safe night before re-hoisting a spinnaker, by that time we lost one more place. The sprint to the end was filled with tension as the distance between the front boats was very small. At the end we had to consolidate with 4th place, but are still happy as this is one of our best results in the Clipper 2019 2020 Race.”

In fifth place was Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam who crossed the line at 05:39:00 UTC

Skipper Josh Stickland commented: “Last out of Bermuda and so close at the end, massive well done to the crew. Top half finish, top performance, top bananas!”

Sixth place – Imagine your Korea, finishing Race 13 at 09:05:37 UTC

Skipper Rob Graham reported following the great finish for the team: “Imagine your Korea had a real nail -biter with Visit Sanya, China for the final 20nm as we sprint-drifted towards the finish line for 6th place. Kirsten Dietz finally helmed over the line, having come all the way from Subic Bay and leaving us here. On board we’ve thoroughly enjoyed Race13. Several new joining crew have fitted in well and brought fresh enthusiasm and our racing skills are improving. We’ll make the most of NY before heading out into the Atlantic again.”

Seventh place – Visit Sanya, China crossing the finish at 09.34.07 UTC

Mike Miller, Visit Sanya Skipper said: “We have now crossed the finishing line, sneaking in before Seattle who kept us on our toes to the very end. Big well done to the crew. A fast yet incredibly slow race at times, they kept up the energy and kept on going even when times were tough. Not quite the result we had hoped for 48 hours ago but one we’re proud of nonetheless. Eyes are now peeled for the Statue of Liberty.”

Eighth place- Seattle. The team finished Race 13 at 10:08:42 UTC

“Well another race is done, two to go. Slightly disappointed with our final overall position, but we have proved that we can sail the boat fast, the first 36 hours of this race has proved that. In a brief conversation via VHF with Qingdao, Chris stated they couldn’t catch us in the initial drag race. Congratulations to Chris and the Qingdao team for another first .

“We have already had our first hot debrief which was brutally honest, we know the areas where we need to improve, now we need to put words into action, bring on Race 14. Meanwhile we are very excited above the iconic arrival into New York and spend the brief time we have here enjoying some of the sights, before we refocus on the North Atlantic.”

Ninth place- GoToBermuda crossing the Finish Line at 13:54:06 UTC

Racing from their home port to New York, GoToBermuda placed ninth on Race 13. Skipper Wavy Immelman said: “I’m super proud of the whole crew for an amazing effort, to come out the wind hole 80 miles behind and in 36 hours, to catch up to 14 miles behind is a brilliant achievement. The crew worked tirelessly to make it happen and we can walk away knowing that we gave it our all to try and catch up. Looking forward to the motor into New York and the famous skyline.”

Tenth Place- Dare To Lead crossed the finish at 22:28 UTC, after officially accepting tenth position.

AQP Angela Brandsma said, after crossing the line under sail: “When you want to quit, but you don’t…The feeling of accomplishment is so rewarding!”

Unicef accepted 11th Place and one point on 24 June, and will motor to the finish line before proceeding to Liberty Landing Marina on 25 June.