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The Clipper Race Leg 4 - Race 5, Day 20: Arrivals into the Whitsundays

by Clipper Round the World Race 11 Jan 15:43 GMT 11 January 2020
GoToBermuda - The Clipper Race Leg 4 - Race 5, Day 20 © Clipper Race

GoToBermuda received a warm welcome into the Whitsundays as the third team to arrive, crossing the finish line of Race 5 at 22:05:31 UTC.

A strong start from Fremantle on the 22 December put Skipper David 'Wavy' Immelmann, First Mate Fabian Fisahn and the 13 crew members in good stead for the 3,415 nautical mile race which took them around three quarters of Australia. The team was vying for the lead during the first week at sea, spent Christmas Day in first place and then managed to carve out some distance ahead of the fleet to sit comfortably in second before rounding Tasmania.

On the strategy of the race David said: The race to Tasmania was absolutely fantastic on the other side it went all pear shaped. We worked really hard to arrive in third, the crew deserve every bit of credit."

The teams faced many varied conditions and GoToBermuda experienced the famed Southerly Busters. David explained: "A Southerly Buster is basically the leading edge of southerly front that comes in quite violently. We were hit by one about a week ago, so we went from zero knots to about 75knots; which stick your head out of the window when your car is doing 100mph kind of wind!

"We couldn't see it coming due to the smoke from the bush fires.But I sensed the warning signs. Suddenly the wind died on us, I called the crew up briefed them just incase, then the air went dry, then the wind died completely so it was reef in yankee down then we were hit. For the next four hours we had 75kntos from behind sailing at 18knots in shorts and t-shirts screaming along having the best time."

GoToBermuda is currently sitting tenth in the overall standings but is steadily improving its result with each race. Depending on the elapsed time result, GoToBermuda could surpass its best result to date and finish in third place and receive its first podium. All eyes are now on when Unicef will finish the race.

On board is the youngest crew member of the entire Clipper 2019-20 Race, 18-year-old Ellen O'Brien, who is fitting in ocean racing around her A-Levels. Arriving into the Whitsundays is the end of an incredible journey she explained: "It was everything I expected and a million times more, it was the best experience of my whole life - I am speechless.

"We've had blistering heat and we've also had the other extreme during the 12-3 watch in the Southern Ocean when it was freezing. We got caught in a Southerly Buster which was mad, I was on watch and everything went silent almost, Wavy was like we need to prepare and then it just swooped in."

She added: "My confidence has grown throughout the race, I feel a huge sense of achievement and high on adrenaline arriving here into the Whitsundays."

Arrivals will continue into Coral Sea Marina Resort, Airlie Beach over the weekend, keep an eye on the ETAs for the latest updates on estimated arrival times.

Imagine Your Korea complete race 5 - aiming for best result to date

Crossing the finish line of Race 5: The Whitsundays, Heart of the Great Barrier Reef, at 15:14:19 UTC the Imagine your Korea team is aiming for its best finish to date and a second podium in as many races.

Crossing the line after Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, which claimed line honours, the team is hoping for second place. However, it will be a tense 48hrs as final positions will be decided on elapsed time.

For the debut Korean team entry, the multi-national crew includes a Korean Ambassador, representing the destination and flying the flag for its global sailing credibility. Seonki CHAE, a boat worker from Korea has taken a route he said he had always dreamed of sailing, arriving into Australia for the first time.

Upon arrival into Coral Sea Marina Resort, he excitedly said: "I realised that Australia is so big and great, I especially enjoyed the sailing whilst in the Tasman Sea, it was a great experience and I learned a lot about racing. I am very happy with how the race went and the result.

"I learned about teamwork, how I can keep focussed on our goals that is both very fun and useful to me. My teammates have been kind and helped me and I want to take my ocean sailing experience back to Korea to help make the sport more well known."

Skipper Rob Graham commented: "The race was tactical, early on there were only two teams who went for the Scoring Gate, we came a close second to Zhuhai and so narrowly missed out on a bonus point to those which left 48hrs behind us.

"Tactics really started once we got to Tasmania we stayed a little bit further offshore which meant more miles but, we kept with the wind and had better speed. I know the East Australian Current can be a struggle, luckily the forecasts were where they said they would be and we got a really good boost all the way up the coast. At the moment we've crossed the line in second and we're watching the clock closely to see if we can hold that position."

Han KIM, International Director for Korean Sailing Federation congratulated the Imagine your Korea team on a successful race: "A huge well done to Imagine you Korea on arriving second into the Whitsundays in the Australian Coast-to-Coast Leg! Congratulations to all who completed the leg. Having faced the Southern Ocean, and to come in and hopefully have secured a podium position is something else. I know first-hand that there must have been difficult challenges during the race, I also know that right now, the crew will feel it was all worth it. Having developed into a tough team, I am confident that there will be many more winnings ahead."

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