The final race of the Clipper 2019-20 Race is complete. Due to the slow progress of the fleet after it faced adverse race conditions, the Race 15 Course was shortened. The race was called to an end at 0000 UTC on 29 July so that the teams could arrive in London’s Royal Docks in time for the final celebrations.
The teams departed Derry~Londonderry on 24 July, leaving the final stopover behind and embarking on the last push of the Clipper 2019-20 Race, which served up a whole host of conditions in a short period of time. The final sprint began with a thrilling line start, followed by very light winds, and then shifting up a gear to heavy upwind conditions for the first 24 hours.
The final race involved sailing around the top of Scotland, where the teams battled with ferocious currents in the notorious Pentland Firth. Time it right and it is a breezy passage with the tide, but if you pass on a foul tide, then it could be a case of not moving or even going backwards.
The frontrunners, Unicef, Punta del Este, Qingdao and WTC Logistics enjoyed a perfectly timed Pentland Firth passage, with favourable tides meaning a swift journey past the north coast of Scotland, taking in the gorgeous scenery that so few get to experience from the sea. However, for those further back in the fleet, it was a case of battling against a fierce tidal stream, losing precious miles and hours as the leading pack pressed on.
Once the fleet rounded the top of Scotland, the North Sea served up some tricky conditions in the form of wind holes, where many of the yachts were left floating around, making for slow progress and frustration.
So, after over 40,000nm sailed, six ocean crossings and eight legs completed, the Clipper Race has announced its champion and the Clipper 2019-20 Race Winner is Qingdao.
Qingdao, skippered by Chris Brooks, has been the team to beat from early on in the circumnavigation and scored a total of 145 points, ten points clear of its closest competitor. The team, representing the Chinese sailing city of the same name, won five races in the 2019-20 edition, more than any other team. Qingdao was also on the podium eight times, scooping a top three position in over half of the fourteen total races in the global event.
The next overall podium position of second place has been secured by Punta del Este. The team, skippered by Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez moved into second position overall after the previous sprint across the North Atlantic. Like Qingdao, Punta del Este was in the lead pack of Race 15, coming fourth in the final stage and cementing its second place in the Clipper 2019-20 Race standings with 135 points.
Taking the final overall podium position in the Clipper 2019-20 Race and third place is Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam. The team, led by British skipper Josh Stickland, scored 127 points overall and was on the podium seven times during the course of this edition, just one time fewer than winners Qingdao. Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, the team representing the UNESCO destination in Vietnam, won three first place positions in the 14 races, most recently on the race from Seattle to Panama in May 2022 (Race 11).
The fleet is now motoring towards the Race Finish event which will be held in London’s Royal Docks on 30 July. For those that are unable to make the celebrations, the event will be live streamed from 1430 to 1630 at https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/livestream
RACE 15 RESULTS
Unicef – 11 points
WTC Logistics – 10 points
Qingdao – 9 points
Punta del Este – 8 points
GoToBermuda -7 points
Visit Sanya, China – 6 points
Zhuhai – 5 points
Seattle – 4 points
Dare To Lead – 3 points
Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam – 2 points
Imagine your Korea – 1 point
The overall standings for the Clipper 2019-20 Race :
1st Qingdao 145 points
2nd Punta del Este 135 points
3rd Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam 127 points
4th WTC Logistics 121 points
5th Unicef 117 points
6th Visit Sanya, China 107 points
7th GoToBermuda 104 points
8th Imagine your Korea 79 points
9th Zhuhai 74 points
10th Seattle 65 points
11th Dare To Lead 64 points