At 0126 EST on 27 May 2012 Gold Coast Australia crossed the finish line line in New York in first place in race 11 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race after a frustrating and tactically “challenging” race from Panama in a total time of 12 days 6 hours and 21 seconds.
This morning at sunrise we were sitting becalmed surrounded by beautiful Northern Atlantic Right Whale and Pygmy Killer Whales. Thirty nautical miles to our east sailed Visit Finland with the other yachts in the fleet catching up fast. The day was warming up quickly and I had a sinking feeling that there would be a sea breeze and we would be too far off shore. As the breeze filled in late morning and swung to the west, our plan could not have worked out more perfectly as we followed the breeze around in a perfect arc towards the finish.
I am elated with winning this race as at different stages in the race it could have been won by any of the yachts in the fleet. The fleet was so close this race the pressure was on the entire duration of the race. Team Gold Coast Australia worked incredibly hard in hot, fluky and squally conditions. Some days we were conducting over 30 sail changes, most of them requiring all hands on deck requiring the crew to get on deck during their off watch time and play the game – which we won!
This is our ninth victory and yellow pendent in the series of races and every win feels so incredibly special. We are working hard and realising our objectives, our goals and our dreams together and the team has really bonded well. I am very impressed with the performance of the boat and crew and the slickness of each sail change evolution throughout the race. Gold Coast has never been sailing so fast and apart from some gearbox troubles, we have finished the race without damage to any gear.
To my crew, thankyou, you have made this a wonderful race. Bring on New York!
START SPREADING THE NEWS.. WE ARE WINNING TODAY.. ITS GOT TO BE A PART OF IT.. NEW YORK.. NEW YORRRKKK!!!