The tightest, most thrilling battle of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race so far came right down to the final seconds as LMAX Exchange claimed an incredibly narrow victory over constant rival GREAT Britain in the Henri Lloyd Hobart to Whitsundays Race.
Just 42 seconds separated the teams which crossed Airlie Beach’s Pioneer Bay Finish Line at 2137 (1137 UTC) and 2138 (1138 UTC) after spending the past 48 hours locked in battle, match racing within close sight of each other up the tropical Queensland coast.
Garmin finished almost 90 minutes later at 2305 local (1305 UTC) to take the third podium in the final race in this All Australian fourth leg which had the most amount of lead and fleet position changes of all six races completed so far.
LMAX Exchange Skipper Olivier Cardin summed up the intensity of the race as he stepped ashore at Coral Sea Marina Resort, saying: “It was more than hard. Since the beginning, we had the battle with GREAT Britain for the Scoring Gate, then fighting against the current and dealing with heavy weather. Then we sailed into a wind hole and all the fleet were catching up and we were with GREAT Britain and Garmin. Then it has been just us and GREAT Britain the last two and half days. The finish was just crazy.
“In fact, as we approached the finish and we had a one nautical mile lead, it looked quite easy because we were going at the same speed, but then as we passed the first island and night fall came there were wind holes everywhere. It was really, really difficult. They won back some distance and nearly overtook us. We managed to keep the lead but it was difficult.”
Despite finishing in second place GREAT Britain Skipper Peter Thornton says his crew really enjoyed the close match racing with LMAX Exchange: “It’s been brilliant. We were saying the other day how all the crew is loving how close the racing is with LMAX Exchange. We were neck and neck, the sun was rising and both under full spinnakers, everyone was taking photos and had big smiles on their faces, it was just insane.
“Of course for the Skippers it is the complete opposite. I’m thinking ‘Aaah, give me half a chance to have not such close racing. People are grinding and constantly looking over their shoulders and we’re shouting ‘Grind, grind, grind.’ The hype is just brilliant.
On the second day of racing GREAT Britain beat LMAX Exchange to cross the Scoring Gate first and pick up three and two additional bonus points respectively, meaning that both teams will end up tied for this race on points – at 14 apiece (12 + 2 for LMAX Exchange and 11 +3 for GREAT Britain). Just five points will still separate the teams in the overall Clipper Race leaderboard with LMAX Exchange still holding on to a narrow lead.
Commenting on his third place finish, equalling his best result to date, third place Garmin Skipper Ash Skett said: “It was an extremely tight race, throughout we had boats visible on our trackers and we never really felt like we were getting ahead. I could see the back markers on the trackers for most of the race, the fleet was very compact. I am very proud of the team, we’ve achieved an incredible result in such a tight race.
“My first ever yachting experience was 12 years ago in this marina, I stepped on board a boat for the first time and sailed the Whitsundays. I remember at the time thinking what a fantastic job and something I could see myself doing and as it transpired that’s what got me into the yachting industry and that’s why I’m here today. I was a complete novice back then I didn’t know anything about sailing, I grew up in the midlands so it was a whole new experience for me but one that stuck with me and now I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”
After completing the gruelling Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the Clipper Race fleet departed Tasmania seven days ago to cross Bass Strait for the third time in as many weeks as it headed 1,631 nautical miles north up the Eastern Australian coastline, this time in less punishing conditions than the 50 knot gusting on-the-nose winds faced during their previous meetings.
Aside from a few hours where a low pressure system slipped off the continent at the latitude of Sydney, Race 6: The Henri Lloyd Hobart to Whitsundays Race provided fast reaching conditions with the wind predominantly coming from the south. The main tactical decision for Skippers was whether to take an inshore or offshore route in order to avoid the worst of the East Australian Current before navigating the Whitsunday Islands to try and benefit from the best currents.
Whilst the next eight boats are within ten hours of joining the first three teams into port, Mission Performance has just under 300 miles still to go after it diverted to provide aid to distressed yacht M3 a few days ago in a storm, which involved crew member Gavin Reid transferring and going up its mast to help retrieve a stuck team member. Mission Performance will be awarded 11 hours 39 in redress for their actions, meaning final standings for the Henri Lloyd Hobart to Whitsundays Race will not be confirmed until the team crosses the finish line.
The Airlie Beach stopover marks the first time the Clipper Race fleet has ever visited the Whitsundays region in Queensland, world renowned for its tropical coastline and 74 islands right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
Coral Sea Marina Resort is the one of the largest marinas in Australia and making a name for itself as the benchmark marina in Whitsundays and along the east coast of Australia.
The Clipper Race will depart Australia for Race 7: The Da Nang New Discovery of Asia Race to Da Nang, Vietnam on Monday 18 January.
To download official team photos and video, which will be updated throughout arrivals, please visit:
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PR Manager, Clipper Ventures
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Notes to Editors
About LMAX Exchange:
Recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing technology firms for three consecutive years (2015, 2014 and 2013 Sunday Times, Tech Track 100), LMAX Exchange is the leading MTF for FX, authorised and regulated by the FCA. Servicing retail brokers, funds, corporates, asset managers and banks, LMAX Exchange delivers a unique vision for global FX trading – a transparent, neutral, level playing field for all market participants, regardless of status, size or activity levels.
The LMAX Exchange open order book is driven by streaming, no ‘Last Look’ limit orders supplied by General Member liquidity providers. LMAX Exchange offers a range of key products, including spot FX, precious metals, commodities and equity indices, with complete pre and post-trade transparency and order execution where no ‘last look’ is standard. Orders are executed in strict price/time priority at an average speed of 4ms.
LMAX Exchange – the emerging benchmark for global FX.
2015 #6 Fastest Growing Tech Company in the UK – Sunday Times Tech Track 100
2015 Best Margin Sector Platform – Profit & Loss Readers’ Choice Awards
2015 Best FX Trading Venue – ECN/MTF – WSL Institutional Trading Awards
2014 #1 Fastest Growing Tech Company in the UK – Sunday Times Tech Track 100
2014 Best Margin Sector Platform – Profit & Loss Readers’ Choice Awards
2014 Best FX Trading Venue – ECN/MTF – WSL Institutional Trading Awards
2014 Best Infrastructure/Technology Initiative – WSL Institutional Trading Awards
2013 #15 Fastest Growing Tech Company in the UK – Sunday Times Tech Track 100
2013 Best Overall Testing Project – The European Software Testing Awards
2013 Best Executing Venue – Forex Magnates Awards
2013 Best Margin Sector Platform – Profit & Loss Readers’ Choice Awards
2013 Best FX Trading Platform – ECN/MTF – WSL Institutional Trading Awards
2011 Best Trading System – Financial Sector Technology Awards
2011 Oracle’s “Duke’s Choice” – Innovative Programming Framework Award
LMAX Limited operates a multilateral trading facility (MTF). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA Registered no. 509778.
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the world’s longest ocean adventure and is also regarded as one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. At 40,000 nautical miles long and taking almost a year to complete, it consists of twelve teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.
The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.
This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to taxi drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 74.
Whether they choose to take on the whole circumnavigation or compete in one or more of eight individual legs, all our crew achieve something remarkable as they conquer some of the world’s most challenging oceans.
The overall route is split into a series of global races and a maximum 12 points going to first place ascending to 1 point for twelfth place. The team with the highest cumulative points at the end of the final race wins the series, and the Clipper Race trophy.
The Clipper 2015-16 Race started from St Katharine Docks, London on 30 August 2015 and is the event’s tenth edition. It returns to London on 31 July 2016. Over 690 people from more than 40 different countries are taking part, and over 3,000 novice sailors have been transformed into ocean racers throughout Clipper Race history so far.
For more information, go to www.clipperroundtheworld.com.