There seems to be no stopping Gold Coast Australia. On March 31, the sailing powerhouse took first place in Leg 6 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, bringing its record to seven wins in nine stages.
“What a proud moment. We won the race across the North Pacific Ocean, the roughest sea in the world,” said Gold Coast skipper Richard Hewson, after winning the 5,680-mile leg from Qingdao, China, to Oakland, California. “To get here safely after 27 days of storms is just amazing.”
Singapore took second place, followed by New York and Derry-Londonderry after their grueling head to head battle for third place. Welcome to Yorkshire, Qingdao, De Lage Landen, Edinburgh Inspiring Capital and Visit Finland safely docked in Oakland shortly after.
Geraldton Western Australia, the last remaining yacht, experienced a major delay when a particularly aggressive wave severely injured two of its crewmembers. The U.S. Coast Guard transferred members Jane Hitchens, 50, and Nik Brbora, 29, to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment, leaving the remaining crew to finish the leg.
As they wait for Geraldton Western Australia to join them in San Francisco, teams will begin preparing for Leg 7. Consisting of two races, this 5,129-mile stretch launches from San Francisco, stops in Panama City, and ends in New York. It is predicted to last 38 days.
The 10-month-long 2011-12 Clipper Round the World race features 10 Ed Dubois-designed, 68-foot sloops, each with a professional skipper and paying amateur crews. After stopping in New York, the fleet continues on to Nova Scotia before finishing in the UK.
For more information, including complete results, click here.
Photos courtesy of Clipper Round the World