Bristol Clipper, skippered by Bob Beggs, stole victory in the final 4 miles of one of the most exciting races so far in The Times Clipper 2000 Round The World Yacht Race.
Paul De La Haye, skipper of Jersey Clipper, commented on how they had been leading for the last four days as they favoured the more westerly approach. "This morning's dawn was really unforgettable and we now know why it is called The Land of the Rising Sun. We knew Bristol Clipper was a threat to windward but we could not see any lights, so we thought we had it. As the sun came up, we saw the sail abeam to windward and that's when we were worried. It all depended on the wind and today was not our wind. As we were headed our course dropped off and gave Bristol the advantage. Five miles from the line we were forced to throw in a tack and that's when they got past."
The finish of Race 6, a 3400 nautical mile race from Hawaii to Japan, is a line 2 miles south from Nojima Saki Light, which is situated at the eastern entrance to Tokyo Bay. After finishing, the boats have a further 50 miles to transit into Tokyo Bay to the Bayside Marina at Yokohama. Bristol and Jersey Clipper came into the Bayside Marina at midday, only half an hour apart, and in brilliant sunlight. Not far behind Liverpool Clipper was expecting to finish some 6 hours after the leaders, but 15 miles from the finish the strong NE head wind deserted them and has left them drifting almost in sight of the line. It now looks as though they will not finish until about 1200 GMT. They will then have a six hour transit to Yokohama and so will not be alongside until the early hours of Tuesday, local time.