Tens of thousands welcome the crews home

The Clipper round-the-world race has arrived back in Hull in front of tens of thousands of people, following its 35,000 mile circumnavigation.

Spectators lined the River Humber and Hull Marina to welcome home the ten crews after their ten-month voyage.

Irish entry Cork claimed its second victory of the race on the 14th and final leg from Ijmuiden, Netherlands – an achievement made more remarkable as the team’s
original yacht ran aground on a reef in the Java Sea in January.

This denied Hull & Humber (pictured) a home port win, but second place was enough for it to leapfrog Jamaica Lightning Bolt in the overall standings and finish fourth overall.

Spirit of Australia, who had secured the overall race victory in the previous leg, arrived third, ahead of Cape Breton Island, whose performance guaranteed it a place on the final podium.

Brendan Hall, skipper of Spirit of Australia, said: ‘Finishing in first place feels unbelievable. That was the seminal moment of my sailing career.

‘All the hard work over the past two years and all the hard work of the team over the past ten months is finally recognised in public by everybody.

‘A big thanks to our fantastic peers on the other boats, the people of the City of Hull and all our loved ones here on the pontoon. It’s absolutely fantastic and one of the best moments of my life.’

Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, told the crews, including the 82 circumnavigators: ‘You’ve achieved your ambition. You have sailed the oceans of the world, you have seen more of the sea than most people do and you have come through it all. You’ve come back very experienced sailors and you’ve achieved something very special in your lives and I’m very, very proud of you.

‘I hope you go off now and continue sailing, take some of what you’ve learned, the way you work as a team, back into your lives.

‘Do you remember what I said at the beginning? I want to hear you say ‘That’s the best thing I’ve done with my life’ – and then I want to hear you say ‘so far’, because then I know we have widened your horizons.’

1 Spirit of Australia 128 points
2 Team Finland 105.3 points
3 Cape Breton Island 104 points
4 Hull & Humber 98 points
5 Jamaica Lightning Bolt 98 points
6 Uniquely Singapore 76 points
7 Qingdao 74 points
8 Cork 56.8 points
9 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital 53 points
10 California 42 points