Clippers heading for a tight finish

Daily Echo: The yacht Switzerland which is jostling for the lead. The yacht Switzerland which is jostling for the lead.

ITS amazing scenery, spectacular river cruises and the world’s largest koala sanctuary are just some of its top attractions.

And as of this morning so were the teams in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as they finished their latest leg in the Australian city of Brisbane.

Competitors were expected to cross the finish line early this morning, ending a five-day race from Hobart in Tasmania, part seven of a 16-stage competition.

At the time the Daily Echo went to print, team OneDLL, skippered by Cowes-based sailing veteran Ollie Cotterall, was neck-and-neck in the lead with team Switzerland and Northern Irish outfit Derry-Londonderry-Doire.

OneDLL also includes novice crew member Dave Richards, a 64-year-old engineer from Southampton, while Old Pulteney, with two Southampton sailors in Charles Slater and Kate Hepworth, is also catching up fast.

Switzerland skipper Vicky Ellis said: “After having seen Old Pulteney and OneDLL last at the scoring gate their navigation lights cropped up on the horizon last night – is there no peace for the wicked? Since then it has been a fast-paced pursuit race along the coastline, for any passing ship we must be quite a spectacle with only a mile or two between the three colourful boats.”

But early pace-setters PSP Logistics unfortunately had to retire from the stage as a safety precaution following a problem with the deck around the starboard running backstay.

Positions are changing all the time. To keep up to date visit clipperroundtheworld .com.

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