Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Derry–Londonderry–Doire Second in Clipper Round The World Yacht Race Leg Two

22nd October 2015

The Northern Irish sponsored Clipper Yacht Race team narrowly missed out on a leg victory in South Africa last night. The Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew watched on as the Great Britain crew took Line Honours in a high speed battle across 3,400 nautical miles from Brazil to South Africa in the second leg of the 14-race global series that forms the 40,000 nM Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

This leg across the South Atlantic Ocean is the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms and conditions didn’t disappoint, pushing the fleet on in a fast and furious crossing with some record speeds in excess of 30 knots, with the front runners averaging a credible 10 knots across the entire 14 day dash from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town.

British Sailor Peter Thornton, the GREAT Britain Skipper said: “It is a great sense of achievement for the crew and relief, because you really want to be first across the line if you even have that hint of a possibility.”

The final nail-biting finish played out in the dark around 2200 local time (2000 UTC) as three teams jostled for places with the massive iconic presence of Table Mountain felt, if not seen, as it cast a wind shadow across the closing stages near to the finish line. The light winds that Table Bay is renowned for created huge concern for the crew as Mother Nature played games with their prospects following a Force 7 blast with gusts well in excess of 30 knots just hours earlier.

GREAT Britain, Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Garmin battled for the lead next to each other as they converged on Cape Town. GREAT Britain took a small advantage but hit the wind shadow first, enabling Derry~Londonderry~Doire to have a chance to overtake. Just as it looked like the Northern Irish sponsored team would take the lead it also ground to a virtual halt as GREAT Britain started to accelerate again.

Garmin had gone slightly further out and looked to trump its two adversaries when it too got caught in a wind hole, not to escape until it was too late.

GREAT Britain sprinted towards the race finish off the V&A Waterfront to take Line Honours at 2030 UTC; Derry~Londonderry~Doire broke free of the wind shadow to finish at 20.40.18 UTC followed by Garmin at 2102 UTC.

Peter Thornton added: “The tension was incredible in those last few miles. I must admit I was getting very worried because we had been neck and neck with Derry~Londonderry~Doire, Garmin and Mission Performance for the last 72 hours, and as we got closer to Cape Town in the final hours it was so close. Derry~Londonderry~Doire was just yards behind us again, a little bit like the first leg so it could’ve been anybody’s race.”

The South African Western Cape based Stormhoek Wines, the Official Wine Partner of the Clipper 2015-16 Race, provided special edition magnums of sparkling wine for each team to celebrate completing the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms in style.

After a closely fought battle for the finish line, Derry~Londonderry~Doire was second to cross and Skipper Daniel Smith said: "It’s been a drag race to the finish. Table Bay is renowned for wind holes, one minute one boat is doing 10 knots a minute later doing 1 knot while another boat was sailing past it. It’s very tricky. I am very proud of the whole team.

“We had the full extremes of weather, we had some very windy conditions and they dug deep and fought hard. The results seem to be getting better, I think the team has learnt a lot and is working well together.”

Having led for most of the 3,400 nM race, Garmin slipped towards the end and was the third team to cross the line. Skipper, Ashley Skett said his crew will take a lot from this race: “Although we led for a lot of the race, we never thought we had it in the bag.

“We were very confident that we had a decent enough lead to make it through until about two days ago and then we went into the high pressure that was forecast and there was no way around it at all. The rest of the fleet caught up. It wasn’t great for us but we have proved we can hold our own and be competitive so I think that is something to take forward into the next race.”

Mission Performance was fourth across the line at 0053 UTC Thursday 22 October.

This race is being run on an elapsed time basis and the final positions and points will be awarded in ascending elapsed time. The shortest time wins. This is to account for the late start of LMAX Exchange and Qingdao after repairs following damage caused outside of racing during the stopover in Brazil. They started three days 14 hours and ten minutes after the rest of the fleet.

Elapsed times for the first three arrivals into Cape Town are:
GREAT Britain 14 days 2 hours 30 minutes
Derry~Londonderry~Doire 14 days 2 hours 40 minutes 18 seconds
Garmin 14 days 3 hours 2 minutes
Mission Performance 14 days 6 hours 53 minutes

Published in Clipper Race
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is undoubtedly one of the greatest ocean adventures on the planet, also regarded as one of its toughest endurance challenges. Taking almost a year to complete, it consists of eleven teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.

This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to train drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest and most remote conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 76.

Now in its twelfth edition, the Clipper 2019-20 Race started from London, UK, on 02 September 2019.

 

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating