Despite finishing eighth in Race 12 to Derry-Londonderry, Sanya Serenity Coast remains on top of the overall standings on 137 points. But Visit Seattle and Qingdao are just 14 points behind, level on 123 points.
PSP Logistics and Garmin are also tied on 112 points, meaning any of the top five teams are in with a chance of standing on the final podium at Royal Albert Dock on Saturday 28 July.
“This whole Clipper Race has been highly competitive right from the off,” said race director Mark Light. “We have had some tremendous finishes and one that sticks in my mind is a photo finish between Nasdaq and GREAT Britain racing into Sydney.
“No single team is running away with it and this only adds to the excitement for anyone watching. You only have to look at the Race Viewer to see the fleet racing side by side for days on end. It really is match racing but across oceans and a credit to the skill across the fleet.”
Adding to the excitement for the 13th and final race is that Visit Seattle is yet to play its Joker Card. If skipper Nikki Henderson and her team decide to play the Joker, they will be in the box seat to leapfrog Sanya Serenity Coast and take out the overall win.
The Joker Card will double any race points earned on the way to Liverpool, but as usual, it won’t apply to the bonus points on offer in the sprint.
The sprint will be the final feature of Race 13, with the race up the Mersey to potentially decide the top three.
“The tensions are mounting for lots of teams as we enter the final Race with the overall podium positions still to be decided,” Light added.
“Race 13 is made up of two parts – the race from Derry-Londonderry to Liverpool Bay for full race finishing points, and then a Le Mans start leading to the sprint finish all the way up into the finish line off Albert Dock. The sprint finish offers bonus points for the first three teams across the line – three points for first, two for second and one point for third.
“Seeing the Clipper fleet racing their way up the River Mersey in front of thousands of onlookers will be spectacular and knowing that the bonus points on offer could actually decide the overall Clipper Race winners adds an extra dimension that will have supporters, skippers and crews all on the edge of their seats … It is too close to call and we will all have to wait and see how this final race unfolds.”
Race 13 from Derry-Londonderry to Liverpool will begin this Sunday 22 July.