Image: Bruce Sutherland

After a fortnight of intense and incredibly close competition, the first Clipper Race teams crossed the finish line in Cape Town, successfully completing Race 2: Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms.

The incredible battle between frontrunners Greenings and Dare To Lead continued right until the end. Greenings managed to cross the finish line just 18 minutes ahead of its rival and claimed first place for the second consecutive race.

Andy Woodruff is the Interim Skipper for Greenings after the original Skipper, David Hartshorn suffered an injury on Leg 1 and said: “I feel great about the race. It is really good for the team after what they went through on Leg 1. This time they went out and crossed the South Atlantic to South Africa and won again so I think that says more about the team than anything else.

“It is all about keeping things simple and not working the crew too hard and having a good time. We did push the boat when the openings came up and took advantage of the tactical situations that arose.”

Garmin claimed third place, whilst a last-minute shake up saw Visit Seattle pip Liverpool 2018 to the post for fourth, with Skipper Nikki Henderson and her team crossing the finish line just 20 minutes ahead of the bright pink yacht.

Congratulating the teams, Clipper Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “What an impressive race! Much like the first stage, it has been another incredibly tight contest and was almost impossible to take your eyes off the Race Viewer, proving just how well matched these one-design yachts are.

“These teams have effectively been involved in a 3,500nm sprint, and keeping that level of intensity up for two weeks whilst across the South Atlantic is one tough test for any sailor. I have big respect for the effort put in by all the teams.”

The Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms has been a particularly eventful one for the eleventh and twelfth placed teams who can expect a warm welcome when they arrive into Cape Town. Unicef, currently in eleventh place, suffered a serious spinnaker wrap on Day 3 which damaged the team’s inner forestay, whilst a whale collided with PSP Logistics on Day 1 of the race, which damaged the boat’s rudder and forced the team to return to Uruguay for repairs, making it highly likely that it will finish in twelfth position.

This is the ninth time that the Clipper Race has visited South Africa in its 11 edition history and the teams can expect generous hospitality in the picturesque setting of the V&A Waterfront, just under the view of Table Mountain, before departing on Leg 3 of the race on 31 October.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race fleet has now covered over 10,000 of the race’s 40,000nm route since Race Start in Liverpool on 20 August.

Race 3 of the Clipper 2017-18 Race starts on 31 October, departing Cape Town and taking teams deep into the Southern Ocean and the infamous ‘Roaring Forties’ in another fast and thrilling ‘sleigh ride’ to Fremantle, Western Australia.

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