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Clipper Race: HotelPlanner.com Comes Out On Top In Drag Race To Cape Town

20th October 2017
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The crew of HotelPlanner.com celebrate their ninth-place finish at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town The crew of HotelPlanner.com celebrate their ninth-place finish at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town Photo: Clipper Ventures

#ClipperRace - It was a close fight right up until the final stretch for ninth-placed HotelPlanner.com and 10th-placed GREAT Britain, who spent much of the Clipper Race's Leg 2: The Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms in a drag race behind the leading pack.

Despite some intense competition from GREAT Britain, HotelPlanner.com managed to pull ahead and forge a 30 nautical mile advantage during the final hours of racing. The team remained in front to cross the line at 13:33:34 UTC and claim ninth place on the leaderboard.

The crew on board HotelPlanner.com, led by Northern Irish skipper Conall Morrison, worked hard and sailed a very consistent race. The team spent nine days in ninth place, peaking on the leader board in sixth position on day six.

Speaking on arrival in Cape Town, Conall said: “Ahoy Cape Town! It’s awesome here; the view, Table Mountain. There is a nice reception here, lots of supporters with orange flags.”

On weather conditions during Race 2, he added: “We had the biggest winds of the race so far. We had 50 knots for about a day and a half and then everything in between.”

Returning home to South Africa, HotelPlanner.com crew member Adam Cristol said: “Great to be back! What a way to return!

“For me [this leg] gave a lot more of the extreme conditions which is pretty immense and what I signed up for, that adventure side of things. The HotelPlanner.com team gelled extremely well again together, we shared some lovely moments on the ocean.”

Just as the sun was setting on Table Mountain, GREAT Britain crossed the finish line at 17:18:56 UTC, becoming the tenth team to finish Race 2 within 24 hours.

GREAT Britain went into the second of thirteen races on top of the overall standings after playing its Joker Card during Race 1 from Liverpool to Punta del Este. However, the team couldn’t recreate that fourth-place result from Uruguay coming into Cape Town.

HotelPlanner.com will pick up four race points for ninth place and GREAT Britain will pick up three, but both teams will have to await the results of the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint to find out if it will gain any bonus points for Race 2.

Earlier this week, the Greenings team claimed victory just 17 minutes and 45 seconds ahead of Dare To Lead on Wednesday evening (18 October).

Garmin placed third just over two-and-a-half hours behind the leaders, while Visit Seattle pipped Liverpool 2018 for fourth in the early hours of yesterday (Thursday 19 October).

Qingdao crossed the line shortly after at dawn’s break to finish sixth, Sanya Serenity Coast placed seventh two hours later, and Nasdaq followed before noon in eighth position as the most improved of the fleet.

The next team due to cross the finish line in Cape Town is Unicef, which expects to face some tricky conditions on the final stretch with a view to arriving late tomorrow night (Saturday 21 October).

Published in Clipper Race
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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