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The rest of the fleet have arrived in Ha Long Bay, following a gruelling 4,000nm race from Airlie Beach in Australia.


Next to cross the Finish Line at 09:20:22 UTC on 18 February, taking fourth place and scooping up eight race points, was Perseverance.

Image: Perseverance arrives in Ha Long Bay

The team’s Skipper Ineke van der Weijden, AQP Joss Creswell and the Perseverance crew had been in the lead for the start of Race 7. However, the team made the decision to take the tempting, more westerly course, to take home some additional points from the Scoring Gate, knowing there was risk they’d be delaying the influence of the trade winds in the east. The determination paid off and the team fought hard, eventually gaining a commendable two Bonus Points after crossing a whisper (just three minutes) behind UNICEF.

On crossing the line, Ineke van der Weijden, Skipper of Perseverance said: “This was possibly one of my favourite races on the Clipper Race, ever. All the close racing was challenging, but also energising. Our boat speed has been fast, the crew has been amazing, and we had a lot of fun together.

Image: Ineke van der Weijden

“With this hard-fought fourth place across the line plus two extra points from the Scoring Gate, and maybe even more from the Ocean Sprint? I think the Sea Dogs can be very proud”.

Crowds of supporters wearing the team’s signature bright orange greeted Perseverance on its arrival into Ha Long Bay.

In his own words, the proud Team Partner of Perseverance, Jaap Koole said: “This is a great achievement of the team Perseverance. Second overall and 4th place in last race finished in Ha Long Bay but what’s really special is the great team spirit.

“The first two Ambassadors for Prinses Maxima Cancer Research Centre joined the team at Airlie Beach and they have been a great support for the whole team. They stated they experienced their life time sailing adventure, but maybe even more empowering became highly appreciated team members. The other Ambassadors are excited to hear your stories so they can have their fun started.”

Image: Perseverance team


Sailing into fifth place was
the Race 7 home boat, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam. The team crossed the Finish
Line at 17:40:26 UTC 18 February. Early this morning, the team arrived through
the mist to take in the beauty of the UNESCO World Heritage Site it has been
representing since leaving Portsmouth last summer.

Image: Home boat, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, arrives into the destination it has already represented for over 20,000nm

The team fought hard through
the 22 day race, pushing towards the front of the pack throughout. After making
the decision not to go for the Scoring Gate, Ha
Long Bay, Viet Nam

hovered around the podium place spots. However, some lighter, trickier patches
of wind meant the team lost pace to the top three yachts.

Speaking from the Finish Line, Ha Long
Bay, Viet Nam AQP, Cameron McCracken, who has just completed his first race
with the team, said: “The crew are all in good spirits and can’t wait to enjoy
Ha Long Bay, especially seeing as some of them have sailed halfway around the
world representing its name! Special congratulations go to Phil, Henry and the
crew on Qingdao for an excellently sailed race and the team’s first
podium overall.”

It was a picture-perfect
arrival for the team as it arrived at a pontoon filled with dignitaries
showering the home boat team in hospitality and gifts. Spending time to
celebrate with the Race Crew was a delegation from Host Port Partners Quang
Ninh Department of Tourism, including Deputy Directors, Ms Nguyen Huyen Anh and
Ms Nguyen Thuy Yen, Head of Accommodation Management Mai Huong and Head of
Travel Management, Mr Linh.

Image: Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam Skipper, Josh Stickland, is interviewed on his arrival into his home port

Josh Stickland, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam Skipper said en route into
port: “We saw from our motor to port that Ha Long Bay really is impressive!

“We are all very happy and
pleased to come fifth. It’s been a microcosm from our race campaign. We’ve been
inconsistent, sometimes we were the fastest boat, sometimes the slowest but I
am really happy with a mid-fleet result. There was a lot of heat on this race,
but as we went on we had some squalls and water spouts coming through, and then
a trade winds run up to the Philippines. The Luzon Strait was a bit of a
lottery but we managed to weave our way through and now we’re here! Now the
main question on my mind is does my hotel have a bath?”


Arriving next into the bay
was Our Isles and Oceans, who took seventh place on
the race. Although Our
Isles and Oceans

was sixth to cross the Finish Line and arrive into port, earlier in Race 7, PSP

was awarded an eight-hour time redress after going to the aid
of Our Isles and Oceans
meaning PSP Logistics
finished took sixth place.

Image: Our Isles and Oceans arrives in Ha Long Bay

After a challenging race, Our
Isles and Oceans

held on to a strong finish, even pipping Washington,

to the post with just 0.7nm miles between them, and a 7-minute gap across the

Our Isles and Oceans Skipper, Max Rivers, said from
the Finish Line: “We have faced some really tricky conditions and challenges this
race and were at times convinced that we were down and out. However, the crew
have been spectacular, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. 13 sail changes in
the past 24 hours is but a small example of their tenacity and perseverance. To
come out with a reward of sixth on the water and seventh place is an amazing. Five
boats finishing in just 8nm is the kind of close racing that proves the matched
clipper 70 fleet is purely won and lost on the skills of the crew.

“A massive thank you to all
the other crews, AQPs and Skippers for keeping the race so tight and aggressive,
not allowing us to let up and keeping us on our toes. It is a privilege to race
in such company.”

Gee Jackson, the Ambassador
Crew on Our
Isles and Oceans
this leg (Leg 5) said as she arrived in the marina: “It was amazing. It had a
bit of everything in there which is exactly what I wanted from my Clipper Race
experience. It was definitely a struggle at the start, it was very hot, not a
lot of airflow but it got more manageable once we crossed the Equator. I think
the crew really pulled together. We had
a lot of challenges and unexpected experiences this race but it brings us all
together and makes us better sailors.”

Image: The Our Isles and Oceans team


Hot on the heels of Our Isles and Oceans, was Washington, DC sliding across the Finish Line at 02:16:41 UTC and taking eighth place on Race 7.

Image: Washington DC arrives in Ha Long Bay

What a race for the team, after 22 days, and sailing over 4,000nm to finish just seven minutes behind its nearest competitors. Finishing the race in light conditions meant the team spent the last 5-10miles in the company of its fellow teams, and were all smiles to be arriving into Ha Long Bay ahead of the three remaining boats.

Washington, DC Skipper, Hannah Brewis, said: “It’s incredible really, we’ve been racing for 22 days and to be just over half a mile from another boat is incredible. How matched these boats is amazing, it was great fun, I really enjoyed it. It was quite difficult at the end, so it would have been easy to just switch off and tumble over the line, but you’ve got another boat there, so you just keep pushing.

“It’s beautiful here. The islands came out of the haze and then motoring through was really cool, especially after so long at sea just seeing blue oceans, to see all of these islands is really special.”

Image: Washington, DC team


PSP Logistics was all fist pumps and joy as they crossed the Finish Line at 02:49:58 UTC. The, team, who crossed the line eighth had its placing boosted to sixth due to the eight hours of redress the team received earlier in Race 7 for the aid offered to Our Isles and Oceans.

Skipper of PSP Logistics, Mike Miller said: “What a race! An absolute nail biter from start to finish, full of ups and downs. I couldn’t be prouder of the crew. This was a race full of a huge variety of conditions, exemplified by the last 24 hours. At times we were absolutely flying along, reeling off speed record after speed record, and making great gains on the other boats, and there were times when we were bobbing around, struggling to make the boat move at all, as the fickle wind gods played their usual tricks with us.

Image: PSP Logistics in Ha Long Bay

“But throughout it all, the crew were relentlessly cheerful and so full of energy and determination to do everything they could to go faster. Massive congratulations to Our Isles and Oceans and Washington, DC who sailed a fantastic last 200 miles and overtook us at the last. Proper ocean racing! On, on!”

After arriving into port at Ha Long Bay he added: “This has been a proper rollercoaster for us! We had a tough start, clawed it all back, then did a bit of a rescue mission for Our Isles and Oceans and Bekezela which taught the crew a lot about good seamanship, which was fantastic. Then we had a blistering middle of the race where we caught up and I thought for a second we would top the podium. But those PSP wind holes got us in the end.

“Ocean racing is about being miles from anywhere! This is the Clipper Race adventure, where for whatever reason, eleven identical boats always seem to arrive within minutes of each other. It is always competitive and really tight racing which is what I love about it.”

Image: PSP Logistics

PSP Logistics AQP, Lottie Wade, added: “It’s dead exciting to arrive in 6th place. Team spirit has been fantastic. This race has actually been a really positive race for us, the vibe has been great on board.”


Crossing the Finish Line at 03:24:25 UTC on 19 February was the Uruguayan team entry Yacht Club Punta del Este (YCPE). The team climbed up toward the leading pack during the second half of the race. However, the team wasn’t able to hold onto this and dropped back after battling with challenging winds. YCPE finished in ninth place after a tough, but enjoyable race for the ‘Punta riders’.

Image: Nano Antia Bernardez

YCPE AQP, Angus Whitehead, said when the team crossed the line: “What an incredible race. We really had a bit of everything, strong winds, light winds, and no winds (some more than others). The crew worked so hard and so well for so long, unfortunately we didn’t place where we would have liked but that’s okay because I can safely say this crew really did quite fantastic. VAMOS PUNTA!”

On arrival into port, YCPE Skipper, Nano Antia Bernardez, said: “The race was a tough race. We didn’t get the conditions we expected, there was very little downwind, a lot of upwind and fine reaching. We had a few things happen that took our focus from the racing. It’s ocean racing, so you need to always focus on safety and the crew is my priority, so we put all our effort into getting here as fast as possible.

Image: Yacht Clube Punta del Este motoring into Ha Long Bay

“We started very well, the first half into the Doldrums Corridor in the top three, but then we started to drop back. We were caught by surprise by a very northerly wind whilst we were motoring so we couldn’t exit the corridor on time. Life is an adventure! Yesterday we were in sixth place, we were loving it, the guys were sailing well but we were caught by a wind hole and sadly the other boats were ahead of us. We had to then defend our position from Dare To Lead who was also going very fast.

“We are sailing around the world, we are living the dream and we will be back in the front!”

Image: YCPE team


Arriving into port placing tenth was Dare To Lead. Due to a medical evacuation earlier in the race, the team had to divert to the Philippines but was soon back racing and fighting hard to get as best a result as possible.

Image: Dare To Lead

On arrival, Dare To Lead AQP, Charlie Warhurst, said: “It was good fun, I mean it was long, but that’s the way it goes. The weather was good, we had 2,000nm of power reaching down the coast which you don’t get anywhere else in the world. The crew have enjoyed it, it’s frustrating being at the back but they’ve really gone for it.”

The team’s Skipper, Ryan Gibson said: “Not the result we wanted, it was really challenging actually. It was a long trip but lots of good spirits on board. Everyone is still motivated, there’s a long way to go in the race. The leggers brought a lot of energy on this one, and there were a lot of milestones: crossing the Equator and being halfway around the world, as well as some amazing sailing.”

Dare To Lead, Ambassador, Ntokozo Msiya, said: “I’m excited to be back on land! It was a bit hectic at some points but we made it! We also crossed the Equator and I am a shellback!I learnt a lot from my crew. I learnt that whenever you are down, you have someone to talk to. You don’t have to face your struggles alone, someone is always there for you.”

Image: Vuvuzelas at the ready for Dare To Lead’s arrival

Image: Dare To Lead team photo


Due to very light conditions on the final stretch, the Bekezela team accepted eleventh position and turned on its motor on 28nm before the Finish Line. Bekezela ceased racing at 05:07:26 UTC and arrived in to Ha Long Bay to complete the fleet earlier today (19 February).

Reporting from the boat, Bekezela Skipper David Hartshorn said: “The Bekezela crew are delighted to have finished Race 7 and looking forward to spending some well-earned rest in Ha Long Bay. Our overall position was really disappointing for the amount of hard work and focused effort put in by all the crew, but we learn from every race.

“Six new honourable Shellbacks are now on the team. A remarkable quick race of over 4,900nm since leaving Airlie Beach, which was very competitive and even though we came eleventh, we were in the day after the lead boats. Congratulations to Qingdao for a well earned first place.

“On arrival into port he commented: “I’m glad to be here. It’s been quite a long trip; it was funky coming in- a trendy landscape! It’s disappointing overall in terms of position, but in terms of the crew, it was frustrating because we got so many of the evolutions spot on. The helming was good but we just couldn’t keep up. What was nice though, was to close the gap at the end which was good for morale: we were 150 miles behind PSP Logistics at one point but to get to 50-60 miles away was really good. We came eleventh, but the speed we managed to do it in was just amazing.”

Image: Bekezela team

All eleven yachts are now docked in Ha Long Bay, with teams ready to rest, relax and take in all that the area and stopover has to offer. Follow our social channels to keep up to date with what’s on during the week ahead.

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