Clipper fleet heads for Hawaii

Uniquely Singapore rendezvous with Durban 2010 and Beyond - Clipper 07-08
With the race finish yesterday morning Hull & Humber have finally secured their second first place pennant and their first podium position since La Rochelle, last September, despite being close on many occasions.

Joff Bailey, Race Director, says 'Skipper Danny Watson and his crew have sailed an excellent race and are deserved winners. I spoke to Danny yesterday afternoon and he commented that his crew had sailed superbly; they have no injuries and very little work to do on the boat. He went on to say that he was determined to sail his own race and follow his own tactics rather than second guess the competition.'

With New York continuing their epic rise up the leaderboard and another pennant for the very consistent team of Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper, Race 7 of the Clipper 07-08 Round The World Yacht Race will be one to go down in the record books as one of the closest and most exciting races to date. Uniquely Singapore also put in an excellent performance, closely followed by their Asian competitors Qingdao. Skipper of the Chinese entry, Marcus Cholerton-Brown, said, 'We have had a fantastic race with all the conditions you could imagine. This is what we were expecting in the Southern Ocean, everything from snow to surfing big waves. Nobody expected the racing to be so close right up to the end.'

Joff Bailey says, 'With half the races of Clipper 07-08 finished and still 70 points up for grabs the top of the leaderboard is still wide open and the second half of the race back to Liverpool will be very exciting.'

westernaustralia2011.com will be arriving in Midway Island on Saturday morning for a short refuelling stop before finishing their passage to Hawaii next week. Looking forward to their brief pit stop, skipper Martin Silk said, 'Much excitement and happiness! The Midway Island information pack arrived today, by Pigeon of course. It has apparently only just re-opened to the public this month so we may be the first visitors?'

Following their Midway Island pit stop westernaustralia2011.com is expected to arrive in Hawaii over the Easter weekend.

Durban 2010 and Beyond, who have also been dismasted and are motoring to Hawaii, are being shadowed by several of the other teams, including Uniquely Singapore who rendezvoused with the South African team this morning. Tim
Ettridge, a round the world crew member on Uniquely Singapore, said, 'I couldn’t tell what I felt strongest, elation at their safety and happy spirits or heartbroken at the sight of the remnants of ripped and twisted aluminium that formerly was their mast. We compete with each other, yes, but any boat is like family to us, both in terms of its crew and the hull itself. We’ll be motoring side by side towards Hawaii now for a few days, competitors but team mates, too.'

As the teams now make their way to the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Jamaica has set themselves a new challenge. Skipper Simon Bradley explains, 'We were enjoying the racing, but now we have other challenges. Can we get all the
maintenance done before Hawaii so that lend a hand to westernaustralia2011.com and Durban 2010 and Beyond and also maximize our partying time?'

The first teams are expected to arrive in Hawaii on Monday to start a well-earned break on the tropical island.

www.clipperroundtheworld.com