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Conall Morrison’s HotelPlanner.com Takes Seventh In Clipper Race New York Leg

14th June 2018
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The HotelPlanner.com team celebrates finishing Race 11 to New York The HotelPlanner.com team celebrates finishing Race 11 to New York Photo: Clipper Ventures

#ClipperRace - The Clipper Race team of HotelPlanner.com led by Conall Morrison were in excellent spirits as they entered Liberty Landing Marina after taking seventh place in Race 11: Nasdaq Race from Panama to New York.

Greeted dockside by supporters and crew members hours after crossing the line at 11.39pm Irish time last night (Wednesday 13 June), skipper Morrison praised his hardworking team for keeping spirits high during the 10-day dash through the Caribbean and the Eastern Seaboard.

Conall and crew were the last to make port after a busy day of arrivals for the Clipper Race fleet, beginning with Race 11 winners PSP Logistics — who crossed the finish line some 55 nautical miles out from New York City at 3.41pm Irish time yesterday.

Speaking on arrival after his team’s second race win of the 2017-18 edition, skipper Matt Mitchell said: “It was a little bit touch and go towards the end but we made it. As a team I think we needed the win, we’ve had a bit of bad luck since the race into Qingdao, China, so it is good to get the win and hopefully it is a sign of our fortunes changing.”

Chinese entry Sanya Serenity Coast, led by Australian skipper Wendy Tuck, crossed the finish line at two hours and 40 minutes later to claim second place, the team’s sixth podium out of 11 — strengthening its lead in the overall standings going into the the circumnavigation’s final leg.

The GREAT Britain team claimed its second podium in two consecutive races when it crossed the line less than an hour later at 7.18pm to take third place. As well as picking up 10 race points, the team also collected a bonus race point for its third place in the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint.

On arrival, skipper David Hartshorn said: “This podium feels better than the last one, although that was a great feeling. The team has worked so hard to go from second to fourth and pull it back in the last few hours.

“The team worked really, really well. They thoroughly deserved this podium.”

The battle for the last podium spot came down to the wire, with Unicef coming in just nine minutes behind GREAT Britain.

On arrival into Liberty Landing in Jersey City, across the Hudson from lower Manhattan, Unicef skipper Bob Beggs said: “We had a good mixture of wind and the competition was very tight, all round a very good race.

“The team is coming together and we are working well together as a team, we are looking very confident as we complete the penultimate leg.”

Garmin closely followed the bright blue yacht into the city, and the fifth-placed team was given a warm and lively reception by supporters and fellow Clipper Race crews.

Skipper Gaetan Thomas was in good spirits, commenting: “It had a bit of everything. There was a little bit of a wind lottery at times, but we got two points in the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint, too, which is great.

“I’ve never been to New York before so to go past Manhattan was incredible – the skyline is amazing.”

Nasdaq was next in sixth place heading into its team partner’s home port. On the 11th race, circumnavigating crew member Ineke Van Der Weijden said: “There was a time that we hoped we would come in a little bit better than sixth but the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint [which the team won, picking up three bonus race points] was awesome, we really went for it.

“We were the first boat to tack early at the start of the race which was a bit nerve wracking but soon others joined us!”

After HotelPlanner.com in sixth, the next team yacht to arrive was Qingdao, over the line at 4.52am Irish time this morning (Thursday 14 June), followed by Visit Seattle (7.18am) and Dare to Lead (9.10am).

Liverpool 2018 is the only team yet to complete Race 11, still some 85nm from the finish line as of 3pm Irish time today.

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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