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The Clipper Race Leg 2 - Race 3, Day 18 - Arrivals continue into Cape Town

by Clipper Round the World Race 10 Nov 2019 11:56 GMT 10 November 2019
GoToBermuda - The Clipper Race Leg 2 - Race 3, Day 18 © Clipper Race

A beautiful sunset welcomed in local boy David 'Wavy' Immelman and his team GoToBermuda as they crossed the finish line at 17:26:58 in ninth place.

In honour of their Captonian Skipper, the crew were adorned with 'Wavy' inspired mustaches as they arrived into the V&A Waterfront, cheered on by one of the loudest crowds of the arrival window so far.

Says David 'Wavy' Immelman: "The race was brilliant, not as much Spinnaker as I thought there was going to be but the crew handled the weather, even the worst of it.

"We successfully went through the first low pressure system and then thought we would go north and through the top of the second one to get an advantage. But as it was the guys who stayed in the middle of the course did well, those at the bottom didn't and those at the top came in the middle. It was a hard race, lots of 40 knots plus upwind, the crew were brilliant they handled it well and so did the boat."

For crew member Gerry Glover, crossing the finish line in Cape Town is the end of a four year adventure. After supporting her husband Greg during his circumnavigation in the 2017-18 edition she decided to take up the challenge herself and has raced over 10,000 nautical miles from London to Cape Town.

She said: "I'm really pleased that I've done it, if you said to me eighteen months ago that this is where I would be, I just wouldn't have thought it would be possible. So I have my Skipper and Fabian to thank for getting me here. They have been amazing and have really backed and supported me."

She added: "And I got to drive across the finish line. It was very special because this was it, this is the closing door. It was a really cool way to finish, I'm lucky really lucky."

After 3,555 nautical miles mere minutes separated Imagine your Korea and Seattle who took seventh and eighth place respectively in Race 3: The Spinlock South Atlantic Showdown.

As the sun was beginning to set over Cape Town, Imagine your Korea crossed the line at 14:50:05UTC on Saturday 9 November just over nineteen minutes ahead of Seattle who crossed at 15:09:18UTC.

As part of the northerly pack in the initial stages, Imagine your Korea took the slightly longer route, but its reward was three bonus scoring gate points which will be added to the five points for seventh place.

Supporters and spectators lined the quay in the V&A Waterfront as the team arrived to a spectacular performance from gospel group Isibane se Afrika.

Mike Surridge, Skipper of Imagine your Korea said: "It's absolutely fantastic, really nice to receive such a warm welcome after a tough South Atlantic crossing, with three low pressure systems. Very pleased to be here."

South African crew member, Rob Stewart, a 62 year old Farmer from Durban, celebrated sailing into his home country with his friends and family looking on: "We had some really bad conditions, especially last night. It was really trying but we stuck through it as a team.

"I served in the South African Navy but have never sailed into my home country before. It is pretty special to be coming home. The welcome was unbelievable, and having the people on the quay was fantastic. Fourteen of my family are here, so I'm looking forward to seeing them."

Seattle appeared to opt for the most direct route for Race 3, shadowing the rhumb line. During the middle stages of the race this paid off seeing them top of the leaderboard for days in a row. The team also managed to perfectly position itself for the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint covering the distance in the fastest time to add three bonus points to its overall tally.

Seattle AQP, Lynsday Barnes, explained: "Our decision mainly, was to stick to the rhumb line. Often the shortest distance does the best and that is what we aimed for.

"Staying with the rhumb line brought us favourable wind in the early stages. We made a bad decision to go south and got really hit by one low, but the fact that we got back from it meant we were in a brilliant position for the Ocean Sprint, which we won. In the later stages, we were pushed north and had to deal with a technical difficulty on board but all sorted and very happy to be in Cape Town."

Timothy Morgan, a circumnavigator on board described the conditions and how he felt during Race 3: "I wasn't expecting this race to be so full on. It took me a few days to get my head around it and then it was such an adrenaline rush."

On winning maximum points in the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint he said: "We absolutely flew in the Ocean Sprint. We have some really great helms on our team, the boat was flying for days, surfing down waves at 20+ knots. It's brilliant when the boat starts vibrating! I look forward to more of that in the Southern Ocean."

WTC Logistics took one of the most southerly routes out of the entire fleet, taking them down into the Roaring Forties for a serious stint of Race 3. In the final stages, coming up from the south, this decision has paid dividends. The team were in a position to undertake Seattle and also hold off Imagine your Korea and GoToBermuda to take sixth place, crossing the finish line below the towering Table Mountain at 10:53:03 UTC.

On arrival into the V&A Waterfront, Skipper Mark Burkes said: "It was quite technical the first week, lots of kite work, really good fun, then the second ten days were much harder and gave the crew a good feeling and full respect of the Southern Ocean.

"We went down to about 42 degrees south. It was our plan all along to take the southery route. But the breeze wasn't where we thought it was going to be but we decided to stay there. After that we ended up getting caught right in what was probably the breeziest sector of the first front. We saw a proper southern ocean storm which was up to 75 knots and averaged 60 knots for five hours.

On WTC Logistics highest placing to date, Mark continued: "We've placed higher in every race and are really pleased about this one because it was part of a plan."

The WTC Logistics team will see six points added to the overall leaderboard, more than doubling its current race points. And this could see it move above its closest rivals.

Operations Director of WTC Logistics, Anthony Clarke has flown out to Cape Town to welcome the crew after a tough leg. He said: "I am here as a surprise for them. They think I am back in the UK but I am here to show my support and to say thanks for the amazing job they have been doing this leg."

On the conditions during their 17 days of racing, crew member Charles Gardner said: "It was pretty challenging. I expected something tough but this was crazy. Very much a contrast with the sun here in Cape Town. We had a real beast of a couple of days at sea but it was cracking.

"Working on the foredeck at night in 70 knot winds was pretty tough, dropping sails, raising sails to adjust to rapidly changing sailing conditions. It was exciting and nerve-wracking and I was glad to get through it and looking forward to the next race."

On the second day of arrivals, in glorious sunshine, Visit Sanya, China crossed the finish line at 08:09:45 UTC to take fifth place into Cape Town. The team pipped Seattle and WTC Logistics to the post after taking the infamous wind shadow of Table Mountain head on, undertaking Seattle overnight, who went too far north.

Visit Sanya's placement will add seven points to its running total. The team also scored two bonus points for crossing the scoring gate in second place so should hopefully be holding onto its top three position in the overall standings.

Skipper Seumas Kellock said on arrival: "I'm glad to be in. Going from the 60 knots we had last night, to the six knots we had this morning, it was quite a variation. At the start of the race we weren't sure if the true South Atlantic experience would arrive for us but oh, it arrived good and proper! Two big low pressure systems rolled over and gave us a good rollicking but everyone enjoyed it."

On the team's result he continued: "It could have been better, we took the long route and I think did more miles than any other boat in the fleet. We saw WTC Logistics come out of the mist of the morning and that spurred us on to overtake and to come in earlier."

Minghao Zhang, Visit Sanya, China Ambassador returned for this race to complete his circumnavigation after reporting on seven out of the eight legs in the last edition as an on board reporter. On arrival Ming said: "Finally, after two years, I got a chance to finish it. It's a very different feeling actually because I have finally crossed an ocean as a normal sailor, and with a new crew and skipper. They are fantastic and I have learnt a lot."

He added: "It feels great to be representing Visit Sanya. I get to speak to the crew and be part of their experience and I know they are all looking forward to visiting Sanya later in the race. I can't wait to see how Visit Sanya is going to finish. I will be supporting the team all the way."

Fourth can often be a tough place to receive but it was all smiles from Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam on arrival into the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. The team, led in the early stages of Race 3 then opted for a more southerly route, and later used the low pressure systems to move north and get a better wind angle during the second front.

After 16 days of racing Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam had a closely fought battle with Unicef in the final stages of the Spinlock South Atlantic Showdown narrowly missing out on a podium place by one hour 36 minutes and 49 seconds.

Says Josh Stickland, Skipper of Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam: "We've been through some big seas,had a couple of bumps and bruises along the way but everyone is here safely and very happy to be here.

"I think the fastest boat speed was 23.9 knots. We tried to be conservative and just wanted to get here safely. That was our game plan through the low pressure systems."

On the tough conditions that the team faced as they race across the South Atlantic, Crew member and round the worlder, John Broomfield: said "We thought the first couple of legs were challenging but that was hardcore. Massive seas, you know the stuff you see on Facebook? Well that was us! Awesome."

Mr. Pham Ngoc Thuy, Director of Quang Ninh Department of Tourism, Vietnam sent a message of support to the team on their arrival into Cape Town. "Congratulations to Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam team for your fourth position in the 3rd race. Your continuous successes have brought us lots of fun and special memories. We hope that you will win the next race and always remember that behind you there is always enthusiastic cheering from the people of Quang Ninh, Vietnam."

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