Sir Robin KNOX-JOHNSTON, race organiser, said: "This has been the closest ever finish to a round the world yacht race. All the crews have given it their all, but Jersey had that little bit more when it mattered most. Jersey Clipper took it by 2 points, which amazingly after 11 months of racing boiled down to just a couple of minutes."
Winning skipper, Simon ROWELL (37), said, "I can't believe it's over. This crew have fought tooth and nail, 24 hours a day for every mile of advantage. I am just the conductor; they play the music."
Reflecting on the achievement of both skipper and crew, Pierre HORSFALL, Chairman of the Jersey Clipper Committee, said: "This is a monumental day for Jersey and our greatest sporting triumph, being in this race, is a brilliant vehicle for promoting Jersey around the world. I hope the combined willpower of the Island's 85,000 population gave the crew that little bit extra. They have certainly made us unbelievably proud and have added a contemporary triumph to our rich maritime history."
After crossing the finish line off Albert Dock, the Clipper yachts performed a spectacular formation sail past led by HMS EDINBURGH for a "lap of honour" along the Liverpool waterfront, which was lined by an enthusiastic 80,000 strong crowd. The teams then passed into the inner docks to confetti and streamers, with the cheers of friends, families and fellow sailors.
At 11:00, Liverpool Clipper entered Canning Dock, followed at 2-minute intervals by the rest of the Clipper fleet until all were safely enclosed by the lock gates. Half an hour later when the water levels in this intricate lock network equalised, they were able to move into the award-winning Albert Dock and tie up safely alongside - thus closing the circle that started last October when they set off on the fourth Clipper circumnavigation.
But it is not over yet. A podium prize giving at 14:00, on Albert Dock's Floating Stage, will be followed this evening by a glittering crew party for 1,000 people at St. Georges Hall in Liverpool.
Councillor Warren BRADLEY, Liverpool's Executive Member for Leisure and Culture, said: "This has been an amazing day for Liverpool and these brave crews - perfect weather, a thrilling race and fantastic crowds, which must number more than 80,000, at one of the world's most stunning waterfronts.
"The Clipper race has enabled us to showcase Liverpool to a global audience and provided many people with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience ocean racing.
"On behalf of Liverpool City Council I thank the hundreds of people in Liverpool who have put together the hosting of this event with pride, skill and style. Today we really have 'the World in One City.'"
CLIPPER 2002 RACE OVERALL ORDER:
|4||Hong Kong||Justin Taylor||71|
|7||New York||Ross Daniel||55|
|8||Cape Town||Roger Steven-Jennings||30|