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It was a spectacular scene as thousands of people turned out to watch the end of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race in Southampton on Sunday 22nd July.
Gold Coast Australia secured overall victory, as the non-professional crew on board all ten ocean racing yachts marked the end of a 40,000-mile challenge of a lifetime.
After 51 weeks of ocean racing Gold Coast Australia today took first place in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race. Visit Finlandfinished in second, while a battle towards the end saw Singapore, sponsored by Keppel Corporation, pip Dutch entry De Lage Landen to the post for the third and final podium position by finishing 20 seconds earlier.
The fleet crossed the final finish line of Race 15 this morning where Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sails solo non-stop around the world, led a parade of sail in Southampton Water to welcome back the fleet of ten identical 68-foot racing yachts.
Tasmanian skipper Richard Hewson and his crew proudly stood on the bow of Gold Coast Australia as thousands of people applauded the victorious Australian team.
“It has been an amazing adventure. From the start we’ve had plans to dominate the race and we’ve definitely done that. It was very competitive and we’ve racing against some fantastic tough competition all the way.
"We’ve achieved so much more than we set out to achieve and had so many wins and podiums, but to stand here on the stage as winners is unbelievable.
"I’ve had an amazing crew that’s made this happen,” said Gold Coast Australia skipper Richard Hewson, before accepting the winning trophy on stage in front of thousands of people.
While Gold Coast Australia led most of the race securing a podium place in all 15 races, its nine competitors remained close throughout.Visit Finland skippered by Olly Osborne kept in a firm second.. Further down the leader board it remained very close between a number of the boats.
All day tens of thousands of people lined the dockside of Ocean Village marina in Southampton to welcome home the crews after a gruelling year long challenge that has seen them take on the world’s largest and most formidable oceans, endured violent storms and frustrating calms, extreme heat and bone-numbing cold while racing ferociously to win.
Raced by people like you, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the eighth edition having been through more than 51 weeks of ocean racing, visiting 15 ports of call on six continents.
It is also the last race on the Clipper 68-foot yachts, as a brand new fleet of twelve identical 70-foot racing yachts are launched for the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race, which is 82 per cent full already.
Since the race started more than 4,000 people from all walks of life have participated in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.