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The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is already a month in, and AST were proud to be there the whole way. Ten yachts arrived into Port of Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina within 12 hours, and we will continue to support the teams as they navigate the globe.
Being the only event of its kind for non-professional sailors, AST have provided voice and data service solutions to help meet the ever-growing operational and media demands of the global yacht race, along with GTMaritime.
After over a month at sea, and an exceptionally close finish, WTC Logistics claimed the first win, crossing the line at 1830 UTC. The team, led by Skipper Dan Jones and First Mate Ineke van der Weijden, clinched the victory of the 6100nm race from the Philippines to Seattle, where they battled tough conditions for over 34 days.
Mark Light, Clipper Race Director, added: “Huge congratulations to WTC Logistics on a great performance and superb win. Dan, Ineke and the team have excelled throughout this race and proven just what a competitive race team they are. Sailing to victory in our edition’s longest race and across such a powerful North Pacific Ocean is something to be very, very proud of and they all deserve to enjoy their success.”
WTC Logistics has been in the leading pack from the start, often jostling for the top spot with Unicef, GoToBermuda and Punta del Este. After crossing the Scoring Gate in third, the team pushed ahead and performed exceptionally well in the range of conditions that the North Pacific served up. From huge seas to wind holes, the crew really have experienced it all.
It’s in these tough conditions where AST becomes vital. As noted by the Clipper Race Chairman and Founder, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, “the reliability of the communication systems on board is key to the successful management and safety of the Clipper Race fleet as the teams traverse some of the most remote areas of the planet”.
The Operations Director at WTC Logistics, Anthony Clarke, congratulated the team on their victory, “Dan, Ineke, and our amazing crew, wow what a race. We are so proud of your achievement… Everyone here at WTC Logistics, and all of our supporters, have been glued to the Race Viewer monitoring your progress.”
Unicef crossed the finish line just 2 hours 53 minutes after WTC Logistics at 21:23 UTC to take a well-deserved second position. After playing its joker, the team has doubled their race points for the Sailing City - Qingdao Cup, receiving a score of 20. Led by Skipper Ian Wiggin and First Mate Dan Bodey, Unicef has been a frontrunner in this race, and played its tactics well to take one of the top positions.
It has been a nail-biting few days as the fleet approached the finish line. After some great conditions, just days from the finish, the wind dropped and the fleet frontrunners were becalmed just 100 nautical miles (nm) from the finish line. As the leading yachts in front bobbed around making speeds as little as 2 knots, the yachts further behind took advantage of better winds, enabling them to shake up the mid table rankings by making good speed toward the finish.
In the lead up to the finish, Punta del Este, having suffered in a wind hole, dropped from the podium but remained hot on the heels of GoToBermuda. Unfortunately, GoToBermuda couldn’t lay the line with the wind angle, meaning they were forced to tack, whilst Punta del Este pushed ahead to reclaim its podium place in the final miles to the finish. Punta del Este sailed across the finish line in third place at 22:46 UTC.
Yacht Club Punta del Este Commodore, Juan Etcheverrito, said: "Oh my goodness! If these last few hours have been nerve breaking to us, we can’t imagine how it was for you all! Even with the tiredness and the lack of wind after sailing so fast… A podium place is so well deserved!"
We will keep you updated as the events of this grand race unfold, until every team completes their journey at London’s Royal Docks, and one team is crowned the winners of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2022. Keep an eye on the race for yourself using the Race Viewer [www.clipperroundtheworld.com/race/standings] to be the first to see who scoops the top positions.