New York again

Duggie Gillespie's crew score their fifth leg win in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Sunday June 29th 2008, Author: Heather Ewing, Location: United Kingdom
New York has scored the fifth victory of their Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race campaign to consolidate their overall lead in the competition. The yacht crossed the finish line at Crosshaven, County Cork, Ireland at 1159 local time (1059 GMT) today at the end of the 2,080-mile race across the North Atlantic from Nova Scotia, Canada.

Skipper Duggie Gillespie said: “We were aware of the situation between us and Hull & Humber at the start and it’s all part of a plan. The guys have focused, worked really hard out there, shown lots of teamwork and executed well. The team produced the goods. They’re all really happy.”

New York was locked in a three-way battle with Qingdao and Hull & Humber for the majority of the race across the North Atlantic. Duggie said: “You know what’s happening in the overall stakes and I can’t deny that in many respects I didn’t enjoy it because you couldn’t really enjoy the sailing. You’re looking at numbers and trying to optimise everything all of the time and not break anything. That was key, I think - not break anything and we didn’t. But it’s just plotting and scheming and staying in contact and positioning the boat. We’ve pushed this boat harder this leg than any others - again it’s in the plan.”

Crew member Nate Thompson said: “I am stoked. We’re not being over confident though. The feeling on the boat is general excitement, we’re just really proud about this last race. Qingdao’s finished second, Hull & Humber’s finished third but the difference is just three and a half points and one race to go. I mean we finished first and they were eighth on the leg to New York, we finished sixth and fourth on the leg to Halifax, so anything could happen. It’s going to come down to the wire and everybody knows that.”

Joff Bailey, Race Director, said,:“Both Hull & Humber and New York have demonstrated once again that they deserve their positions in the overall table. It’s not over yet for either of them; the result here sets up a very exciting finale to Clipper 07-08 when the final positions will be decided.”

Following the 12-day race from Nova Scotia, during which the yachts faced a variety of conditions including fog, light winds and gales, the crews will enjoy some time to relax in Crosshaven and the wider environs of County Cork ahead of the final sprint to Liverpool, where the arrival on Saturday 5 July will form part of the city’s European Capital of Culture 2008 celebrations. The Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world, welcomed the crews with burgers and kegs of Heineken, which will also be flowing freely at the official welcome party and prize giving ceremony on Tuesday 1 July.

Founder of the Clipper Race and legendary solo sailor, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, a regular visitor to Crosshaven, said: “I think the crews of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race will discover something I learned in 1970 in the Round Britain Race and have re-learned on a number of occasions: that the Royal Cork Yacht Club provides and atmosphere and friendliness second to none.”

This is the first time the Clipper Race, now in its sixth edition, has visited Ireland. Fiona Buckley, General Manager of Fáilte Ireland South West, says, “Fáilte Ireland South West is delighted to support the Clipper arrival into Cork, and welcomes the support of Cork County Council and the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Sailing is central to the development of tourism in the South West and particularly in Cork and is central to the Fáilte Ireland South West Regional Development Strategy 2008-2010.

“Cork has an enviable sailing and maritime reputation worldwide, stemming from its unique natural harbour, yacht clubs and maritime history. What makes it so special is the vibrancy of the people and culture, the unsurpassed beauty of its landscape and the array of quality local food. Sailing along the East and West Cork coastline is a magical experience. I am confident that this week’s pit stop in Cork, which brings with it worldwide media, officials and crew and Ministerial parties form the Department of Tourism in both Nova Scotia and Jamaica, will impress the importance of the Cork region upon the event organisers and hopefully lead to the return of the race in a formal capacity.”

The ten-part television series which is being produced by the Clipper Race host broadcaster, Sunset + Vine/APP, is currently being shown in the Republic of Ireland and the UK by Setanta Sports.

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