A commanding second win for Gold Coast
RACE 2: MADEIRA TO RIO DE JANEIRO
* Battle for two remaining podium positions underway
* Provisional Ocean Sprint results released
* Gold Coast Australia celebrates second win in Rio
After Gold Coast Australia’s commanding victory in Race 2 into Rio, the
battle for the remaining podium positions is being fiercely contested.
The teams at the front of the fleet have been pushing to make up every
extra mile as they close in on Rio de Janeiro’s iconic harbour.
After surfing straight towards Rio under the heavyweight spinnaker
logging speeds around 17 knots yesterday, Rupert Dean on Welcome to
Yorkshire reports that they have experienced an unexpected wind shift to
the west and light variable winds off Cabo Frio. This raises the
prospect of a frustrating “uphill slog” to Rio whilst Singapore
continues to close the gap from behind.
“The challenge for us now is to keep positive, focused and mentally
disciplined for the difficult hours ahead,” Rupert said.
With Welcome to Yorkshire having been in Stealth Mode until 1200UTC
today the other teams will have been in the dark about the whereabouts
of the boat that was lying in second place 24 hours ago, and now has
just 86 miles to the finish.
After finishing at 0707UTC, Gold Coast Australia’s Skipper Richard
Hewson said that he was “ecstatic and immensely proud of his crew”.
Escorted into the Baia de Guanabara by a pod of dolphins at daybreak
after their second win in Clipper 11-12, the victorious team celebrated
with fine views of Rio’s Sugarloaf Mountain.
“Overall Gold Coast Australia has had a fantastic race from Madeira and
the crew performed brilliantly,” Richard said.
“Not only have we won the race, but we also picked up points from the
Scoring Gate and the Ocean Sprint which will put us in a very good
position for the remaining race around the world,” he added.
As well as responding to the rapidly changing wind conditions, Singapore
has been experiencing long, stressful nights dodging the high number of
vessels in the area.
“We have not seen traffic density like this since leaving the Solent
about a month ago. Add into the mix winds from 3 to 35 knots, varying in
direction by as much as 180 degrees, and you have the recipe for and
long and stressful night sailing down the Brazilian coast line,” Ben
Like Welcome to Yorkshire, Singapore is beating to the final waypoint at
Cabo Frio knowing that New York is less than 100 miles behind and
closing in fast.
Meanwhile, the provisional results for the Ocean Sprint have been
announced following the contest for the fastest boat between 5 degrees
and 10 degrees south. Gold Coast Australia bagged the extra point after
completing the distance of approximately 300 miles with a provisional
time of 31h 6m 31s. The second fastest team to cover the distance was
Welcome to Yorkshire in 32h 03m 02s.
Full provisional results for the Ocean Sprint are as follows:
1st Gold Coast Australia 31h 06m 31s
2nd Welcome to Yorkshire 32h 03m 02s
3rd New York 33h 21m 05s
4th Visit Finland 34h 12m 00s
5th Derry-Londonderry 37h 15m 40s
6th Qingdao 37h 51m 12s
7th De Lage Landen 38h 14m 55s
8th Singapore 38h 56m 26s
9th Geraldton Western Australia 38h 58m 05s
10th Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 42h 35m 47s
Less than two minutes separated the times logged by Singapore and
Gerladton Western Australia for the Ocean Sprint demonstrating just how
close the racing can be between the Clipper 68s.
The duel between Qingdao and De Lage Landen continues unabated, with the
Chinese team currently gaining the upper hand by just one mile.
Ian Conchie on Qingdao said his team is still racing in close quarters
with their Dutch rivals. “We have spent the day duelling with De Lage
Landen trading space with each sail evolution,” he said.
Despite the close racing, Ian admits that the idea of a good beer and a
fresh steak is one of the top topics of conversation on board after
almost three weeks at sea.
Mat Booth on De Lage Landen said the distance between the two yachts has
been fluctuating between 100 metres and a mile.
As an antidote to the tension of the close duel, the two teams have been
playing a protracted game of inter-boat Battleships, with a move being
made every hour via VHF.
“It’s a refreshing break from the routine after weeks of no contact, and
the winning team will receive a drink from the losing team when we
arrive in Rio,” Mat said.
Throughout the fleet, the teams are eeking out every last bit of boat
speed to get as many points as possible for their first ocean crossing.
On Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, Gordon Reid’s crew has their sights on
improving their current eight position before they reach Rio.
“The race crew on watch are constantly trimming the sails and calling
for the skipper’s input for the final little squeeze. Three weeks ago if
you mentioned twist, cord length, sheeting angles or luff tension, some
would scratch their heads but now everyone is constantly looking for
every bit of speed,” Gordon said.
After living at a 30 degree angle for days on end, the crew on
Derry-Londonderry is making the most of the boat flattening off a little
as the sheets are eased to get some jobs done.
Skipper Mark Light said: “It has made an instant impact on all of us and
everybody has that ‘lets get it done attitude!’ We still do all the
normal routine things that make up a life at sea but extra tasks have
been undertaken and as a result Derry-Londonderry looks beautiful.”
On Visit Finland, currently in fifth place, the crew is enjoying some
downwind sailing with 300 miles separating them from the finish line.
“Over the last 48 hours we have seen some very different sailing
conditions to the gradient trades that we have enjoyed reaching south on
during the last week. We now have our heavyweight spinnaker up and even
this more moderate sail plan sees the boat fully powered up running at
16 knots before a strong breeze.”
“Helming deep downwind in these conditions is very demanding and it
requires full concentration to anticipate how the boat will react to the
next wave in the pitch darkness,” skipper Olly Osborne, said.
Welcome to Yorkshire is expected to arrive in Rio’s Marina da Gloria not
before 1600 local time this afternoon, with Singapore later on Wednesday
evening. Updated estimated arrival times will be posted when available.
Positions at 0900 UTC, Wednesday 31 August
1 Gold Coast Australia Finished at 07:07:00 UTC on
2 Welcome to Yorkshire 86nm (+86nm DTL*)
3 Singapore 107nm (+146nm)
4 New York 193nm (+264nm)
5 Visit Finland 300nm (+341nm)
6 Geraldton Western Australia 416nm (+434nm)
7 Qingdao 445nm (+482nm)
8 De Lage Landen 446nm (+483nm)
9 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 516nm (+540nm)
10 Derry-Londonderry 684nm (+738nm)
*DTF = Distance to Finish, DTL = Distance to Leader Full positions are
updated every three hours and can be found at