Amer Sports Too finish time: 15:59:22 GMT 7 December. Lisa McDonald’s team sailed into Sydney Harbour under the cover of darkness within the last hour to become the final crew to complete the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.
It had taken the all-women team on Amer Sports Too an extra three and a half days to sail the 6,550-mile leg from Cape Town, through the Southern Ocean and onto Sydney, Australia, than leg winners illbruck.
As they crossed the Opera House finish line at 02.59hrs (Sydney time), the rain that had been falling on and off over the last few hours stopped and a small complement of spectator boats sounded their horns in tribute to the 13 women as they cut the line.
The final one thousand miles were drawn out after they endured strong headwinds in Bass Strait, but the final six hours of the 26-day trip were relatively plain sailing.
Amer Sports Too averaged 11.5 knots up the New South Wales coast, with boat speeds peaking at over 20 knots in the following southerly breeze. Lisa and her team now have 18 days to recuperate and replenish themselves before the fleet set sail on leg three of the nine-stage around the world race on Boxing Day.
On December 26th, the eight yachts will join the Sydney to Hobart race fleet. They will have a brief three-hour pit stop in Tasmania before setting off again across the Tasman Sea to Auckland, the City of Sails, New Zealand.
Meanwhile on the second Nautor Challenge yacht Amer Sports One, Keith Kilpatrick, who was taken seriously ill during the second leg, has decided not to continue in the race on medical advice.
Keith was taken off Amer Sports One at Eclipse Island off the coast of Western Australia during the final week of the leg after being diagnosed with an intestinal blockage, which has since cleared.
"After consulting several specialists it has been decided it is in my best interests to go home to California and recuperate," explained Keith. "It has become evident that the trauma experienced by my body is more severe than previously thought. After recuperating for about two months I will be totally fit.
"Obviously I will not be sailing on the next two legs (from Sydney to Auckland and Auckland to Rio de Janeiro) so in the best interests of the team I have decided to step aside so that a permanent replacement can be made."