Following an incredibly closely fought bout across the North Atlantic, LMAX Exchange has beaten Derry~Londonderry~Doire into its Northern Irish host port by just 33 minutes to complete the 3,624NM LegenDerry Finale from New York, USA, the final ocean crossing of the Clipper 2015-16 Race.
The two teams duelled constantly for the lead throughout the 16 day race which was a particularly fast crossing partly aided by the Gulf Stream in the early stages, and it was the home team which led for most of it. However it never managed to fully shake off LMAX Exchange which overtook this morning in lighter winds and adverse tides as both teams rounded Rathlin Island.
LMAX Exchange crossed the finish line near Greencastle first, at 1043UTC, less than 5NM ahead of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, which finished at 1116UTC. ClipperTelemed+ finished in third place at 1258UTC, claiming its third consecutive podium result.
Commenting on the win, Skipper Olivier Cardin said: “This was the last ocean crossing of the Clipper 2015-16 Race and yet it was actually rounding Rockall which opened the game as we were beating into the wind and dealing with strong tides on the last part. The final 24 hours were decisive. Crossing the finish line first was our goal and all the team was fully focused on reaching the finish line first. It’s a great result for LMAX Exchange!”
The victory marks the team’s sixth win of the twelve races completed so far in the Clipper 2015-16 Race series. LMAX Exchange leads the overall race leaderboard by nine points with just two races remaining before the 30 July London Race Finish.
Speaking on his team’s battle to the finish, Skipper Dan Smith was clearly disappointed to lose out on the home win. He said: “This race was a tough one for the team with us being in the lead for the majority of the race and being pipped to the post at the end.
“I can’t fault my team for their dedication and efforts that they have put in to get us to Derry- Londonderry. We may have come second but have received the most points in the race and appreciate the incredible Derry-Londonderry welcome.”
Derry~Londonderry~Doire picks up eleven points for second place plus two bonus points for setting the fastest time in the Ocean Sprint section of the race. The team currently sits second in the overall standings.
Making his way up the River Foyle ahead of his team’s arrival ceremony, Skipper Matt Mitchell of third place ClipperTelemed+ said: “It’s great to be across the line in Derry-Londonderry. It was some pretty tough racing over the last few weeks, from gale force winds to no wind and everything in between. We are very much looking forward to our welcome and to enjoy the hospitality of Derry-Londonderry.”
GREAT Britain was fourth across the finish line at 1425 UTC, followed almost one hour later by Unicef at 1524 UTC.
The remaining seven Clipper Race teams are still racing and are due to arrive to Derry-Londonderry later today and over the next three days. The fleet will stay in Northern Ireland for an action packed stopover which includes being the focus point of the 2016 Foyle Maritime Festival, until 17 July when the teams depart for Race 13 of the 14 stage series, to Den Helder, the Netherlands.