Derry’s clipper was yesterday awarded eighth place in the race to Western Australia.
After an action-packed crossing of the Southern Ocean from Cape Town, the ‘Derry~Londonderry’ crew must get some well deserved rest and recuperation ahead of the next gruelling Southern Ocean leg of the Round the World race. With that in mind, the race organisers cut the race short for the last five teams which are expected to motor into Geraldton this morning, having been given the go-ahead to use their engines.
A spokesperson for the Clipper Race organisers said: “The safety of the yachts and the crews being the primary concern of the race organisers, the difficult decision, one which was not taken lightly, has been made in the interest of the teams.”
The race officially ended at 6pm on Sunday for the Derry team, along with Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, Welcome to Yorkshire, Singapore and Qingdao.
Sunday also saw Gold Coast Australia make it almost a clean sweep so far in the race when the crew secured four out of four victories with their arrival in Geraldton. Derry skipper Mark Light admitted that the decision to end the race prematurely was the right one.
“We have provisionally been given eighth position and this is a fair reflection of our race. Although the decision to end the race was initially disappointing for everybody on board, it’s the right call.
“This will allow us, when necessary, to use our engine to make best speed into port so that we will have enough time to repair, refuel, re-victual our boat and recharge the crew in order to be ready to take on another Southern Ocean leg towards New Zealand.” Meanwhile, there were prizes for Gold Coast Australia, Qingdao, Welcome to Yorkshire and Visit Finland, as they arrived in Geraldton, for their entries in the ‘Derry~Londonderry’ Clipper Hallowe’en Festival Competition.
The competition, which drew creative entries of ghost stories and eerie videos, was open to all crews and was designed to support the 25th celebrations of the Hallowe’en festival in Derry. Claire Lundy, from Derry City Council, said: “Many of the crews took their inspiration from their surroundings creating atmospheric videos, pictures and ghostly tales during their journey to Western Australia.”