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Cheers for the beers as British sailors reach Rio
AFTER 28 gruelling days at sea, Rio de Janeiro was a welcome sight for four Hampshire sailors as they finished the first leg of the world’s longest race.
The Great Britain and Old Pulteney both docked in the Brazilian city yesterday afternoon, after completing the first leg of the Clipper Race.
And some of the crew members celebrated their achievement with a well-earned beer and a tour of one of the world’s most iconic cities.
They joined the teams from the first six yachts to complete the first leg in Rio, and are set to be joined by another four teams over the next few days.
The 12 vessels, 11 of which have crew members from Hampshire, set off from London on September 1 before docking at their first port of call, in the French port of Brest.
They then set off on September 7 on the long journey across the Atlantic, with Jamaica Get All Right edged out by PSP Logistics to win the first leg of the race in dramatic style.
And yesterday Great Britain, which contains 20-year-old Jacob Carter, from Fareham, and 70-yearold Patrick Coates, from Stockbridge, followed them in in seventh place.
The Old Pulteney followed Great Britain over the line in eighth place an hour later.
Although the team started off in a good position, they fell behind when they lost one of their sails and had to fight their way through the windless doldrums.
Charles said: “Today's race has been absolutely outstanding.
“We were unable to sail with our stay sail. All of the other boats had three sails and we had two. We were running in 12th position through most of the race.
“Despite being 370 miles behind, we came in just an hour behind the boat before us.
“All 21 crew are now looking forward to the next race between Rio and Cape Town.
“We've got all the chances of winning. We've certainly got the sleekest looking boat with a dark blue hull and dark blue hulls are generally the ones that win.”
Kate, a former buyer at the B&Q HQ in Chandlers Ford, said: “It's been challenging actually. There have been highs and lows throughout the trip.
“I really needed a challenge as I got to a part in life where I wanted to do something new. I happened to be in Ocean Village last year and it looked great and I've always wanted to learn to sail.
“I'm planning on becoming a competent sailor by the end of this.
“When we're up against the other boats and their sails are out, we know we're a fast boat. We're chuffed with our position.
“We were ahead of them for most of that time but then the wind changed.
“I think we're all just looking forward to letting our hair down now.”
Today Team Garmin and Switzerland, with 59- year-old former Southampton City College principal Lindsey Noble, 58- year-old Charlie Pickering from Southampton, and 50-year-old Heather Reid from Totton among its crew, are due to arrive in Brazil.
The crews that have already arrived will now have a few days to recuperate and enjoy the sights of Rio, Brazil’s largest city, before the start of the next leg to Cape Town in South Africa on Saturday.
The rest of their 40,000-mile journey will take in Australia, Singapore and the USA before returning to the UK next July.
- Additional reporting by Rebecca Pearson
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