westernaustralia2011.com wins Clipper Race 12

Aussie Aussie Aussie! westernaustralia2011.com’s crew celebrate victory in Race 12 Photo: Mary South

westernaustralia2011.com has won Race 12 from New York to Nova Scotia in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race. Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper finished in second place, earning them a sixth appearance on the podium in this edition of the biennial race. Qingdao maintained their recent consistent good form to take third place.

Yesterday the Race Committee informed the fleet that it would be using Finish Gate 1 as the finish line in accordance with the sailing instructions. Hampered from the start of the race in New York by light airs and fog, none of the yachts reached the gate by the 12:00 GMT finish time today and their final positions have been calculated according to each yacht’s distance to the finish.

westernaustralia2011.com was 10.2 nautical miles from the finish line, Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper 22.6 miles from the line and Qingdao 22.7 miles away, just a fifth of a mile ahead of Hull & Humber who finished fourth. Local favourites, Nova Scotia, finished fifth, just 1.1 mile behind Hull & Humber. All positions are provisional until the skippers have submitted their race declarations to the Race Committee.

For the team from Western Australia, the victory marks a remarkable turnaround in fortunes following their dismasting during the race across the Pacific. Forced to abandon Race 7 and miss Race 8 while their mast was rebuilt, their ‘Aussie battler’ spirit has come to the fore and the crew has fought hard to earn the win, which moves them up one place in the table to seventh overall.

'It’s been a tiring race' said skipper, Martin Silk. 'Having no radar with shoals and fishing grounds, all swallowed up in thick fog made the decision to take the planned track difficult. What made it easier was being at the back of the fleet, knowing that it was make or break. Things panned out well, the GRIB weather files were right and at last we have our first yellow pennant. I’m quite chuffed really, mainly because we followed our own tactics and secondly because my team worked hard as always and got the result they deserved.'

His team is understandably ecstatic about the victory. 'First place, I can now die a happy woman!' laughed Judy Lawrence, from South Melbourne, Victoria.

Round the worlder Billy Hawes from Perth, Western Australia, said, 'Well done all. It’s all down to exceptional sailing and a touch of voodoo!'

John Kimber, round the worlder from West Sussex, England said, 'It’s been a long time coming, but well worth the wait. We worked hard and I’m really chuffed with the whole team effort.'

Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper skipper, Hannah Jenner, is equally proud of her team and, with two races to go in this 14-race series, has the overall leading boats in her sights. 'A very well deserved return to the podium for my team,' she says. 'They worked really hard to break the curse of the last two shortened races which have seen us knocked off the podium at the last minute. We are now very much back in touch with Hull & Humber and New York in terms of points and equally have a nice gap between ourselves and fourth placed Durban 2010 and Beyond.'

Marcus Cholerton-Brown, skipper of Qingdao said, 'We had a good race, with lots of close quarters action in the fog to liven things up. We made a sound decision on course after the second mark and jumped into the lead. Unfortunately, westernaustralia2011.com did the same and pulled in a big win. We had a few problems in the closing hours which saw Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper and Hull & Humber pull past us with only four hours to the end of the race, but we fought back and took Hull & Humber with time to spare. Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper would have been next… Overall, a great race with plenty of action and wildlife. We’re very happy with a podium position, but we are still hunting for that elusive yellow pennant.'

The fiercely contested yellow winner’s pennant for Race 12 from New York to Nova Scotia will be awarded to westernaustralia2011.com’s crew at the welcome ceremony and prizegiving at Halifax Waterfront immediately after the yachts’ ceremonial arrival there tomorrow afternoon.

The yachts are expected to arrive between 0100 and 0600 local time (0400-0900 GMT) at Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron where they will complete immigration formalities and refuel before leaving for the formal arrival at Halifax Waterfront.

The boats will gather just off Point Pleasant to position themselves for the parade of sail which begin at 14:00 local time (17:00 GMT) and take them past George’s Island, Dartmouth, MacDonald Bridge and Halifax Waterfront, before mooring at Cable Wharf, where they will be based until Thursday 12 June. The best locations to view the fleet include Point Pleasant Park and the Halifax Waterfront boardwalk from the Cruise Ship Dock to Cable Wharf.

Provisional results, Race 12: New York to Nova Scotia, Clipper 07-08.

1 westernaustralia2011.com 42 52.524N 065 18.446W 10.206nm (DTF)
2 Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper 42 39.685N 065 23.112W 22.601nm
3 Qingdao 42 36.528N 065 29.587W 27.773nm
4 Hull & Humber 42 36.408N 065 29.825W 27.986nm
5 Nova Scotia 42 36.217N 065 31.892W 29.017nm
6 New York 42 33.077N 065 28.241W 30.169nm
7 Durban 2010 and Beyond 42 39.351N 065 41.743W 31.738nm
8 Uniquely Singapore 42 32.414N 065 31.530W 32.007nm
9 Liverpool 08 42 34.259N 065 36.508W 32.636nm
10 Jamaica 42 25.606N 065 35.625W 39.402nm

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