At 01:28 GMT today, skipper Ross DANIEL and the crew of New York Clipper sailed over the Salvador finish line to victory, winning Race 13 of the Clipper 2002 Round the World Series from Cape Town to Brazil.
After a tactical decision to dash to the North thus avoiding the calms of the South Atlantic High, New York Clipper has proved to be unstoppable. For the last 10 days of the 3,375 nautical mile race, the New Yorkers have led the fleet as they raced across the Southern Atlantic.
This has not been a straightforward race for the crew of the New York Clipper. They managed to keep the opposition at bay despite suffering some serious damage to both their heavy and medium weight spinnakers. As they approached the coast of Brazil, wind conditions towards the coast became increasingly squally and variable, resulting in some tough sailing and much sewing time below decks in order to maintain their lead.
Once on shore, the crew proceeded to sip the night away on the balcony of the Nautical Centre in Salvador. Ross Daniel looked out over the great ocean and said to his admiring crew, "Boys, girls we is the Atlantic!" His remark reflects not only the hospitality of the fleet's Brazilian hosts (and the endless supply of Caiparinhas!) but also the fact that New York Clipper has won both of the Clipper 2002 Atlantic crossings so far.
Richard BUTLER and his Bristol Clipper crew looked certain for second place, but during the 03:00 Radio Schedule the steering cable parted and, with just over 20 miles to the finish line, Bristol Clipper did a copybook broach with her spinnaker set. Suddenly this usually orderly boat became a nightmare while she lay on her side and all the crew scrambled on deck in the middle of the night. The sheets were freed and the boat came upright and all the equipment and sails were recovered, amazingly without damage.
Bristol Clipper's next action was to get the emergency tiller rigged and regain steerage way - in the knowledge that somewhere out in the darkness the Cape Town crew were bearing down on them.
Their 12-mile lead was safe however and Bristol Clipper crossed the line at 06:10 GMT (03:10 local time) to take second place. Pleased as punch with their result, there is however an extra sparkle in the Bristolians eyes as they now become overall leaders of the Clipper 2002 Race, with Jersey Clipper locked in battle with Hong Kong at the back of the fleet.
The back of the fleet is the certainly the hottest place to be. Liverpool Clipper has done well to have achieved a mile lead over both Hong Kong and Jersey, who are in equal seventh place. The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Ron Gould, continues to take a very personal interest in skipper Adam Kyffin's progress - especially as it looks as though The Lord Provost of Glasgow's mount has a good lead over them.
But today's biggest news is that of third place on Race 13... Roger Steven-Jennings on Cape Town Clipper has scored his first podium finish, crossing the finish line into Salvador at 07:34 in third place. This result will prove to be immensely popular amongst the whole fleet and there is no doubt who will be getting the loudest cheer at Tuesday's prize giving.
London Clipper, skippered by Rory Gillard, is now steaming along in these great sailing conditions and looks likely to secure an excellent fourth place.