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Date:- 31 July 2006

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WESTERNAUSTRALIA.COM
WINNING 05-06 CLIPPER RACE
Photographs by Patrick Trollope BA(Hons) LBPPA

AFTER 10 months of ocean racing with 35,000 miles of adventure, westernaustralia.com crossed the finish line in the first position on 29 July 2006, clinching the title of overall winners of the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race. This makes them the first Australian boat, in history, to win an around the world yacht race. This first ever Australian entry in the Clipper Race, is affectionately known as the Big Blue, left Holyhead on Friday, with an unassailable lead after finishing race 12 from Jersey in 2nd place. They then continued at full pelt and crossed the final finish line at the River Mersey’s mouth at 0704hrs on 29 July 2006, claiming an extra five bonus points (Race 13).

Watch leader, Jamie Wheedon said:- "I feel sheer excitement and relief. We set a goal early on to win this and it is a dream come true; not only to complete a circumnavigation but also to win the race. I am feeling very proud to represent Western Australia and our nation as a whole in this international sporting event."

On crossing the line into Liverpool, Skipper Mark Preedy said: - "I am feeling pretty good! I wanted to win this last race to get the icing on the cake; it feels very satisfying to come into Liverpool first and makes our overall win sink in all the more!"

Noel Ashcroft JP, Agent General of the Government of Weston Australia told us that:- "It is a fantastic result, I am made up for the crew of westernaustralia.com and what a fantastic result for Australia! We are a competitive nation and we like to win. Winning is what we do best and this is just the result we dream about. Our nation could not ask any more from any crew. It is truly fantastic. I am very much looking forward to the 07-80 race that starts off next year from Liverpool. I am hoping it will be yet another win for our team.

As for this year’s race, I would like to congratulate the team of westernaustralia.com and all the other Clipper crews on what has been a friendly, but competitive race throughout, with very high standards of seamanship. I would also like to thank the City of Liverpool for making us so welcome and also not forgetting the Clipper Ventures staff and everyone else who where involved along the way."


Andy Tomlinson who was a local crewmember on the Liverpool Clipper said:- "It has been a life changing experience and one I would do again. I have had so much fun and I am now hooked...

I will be doing more sailing in future. The Liverpool 08 crew did its very best, but we could only do what nature allowed us to do. It was a very close race and all our team acted fantastically. We played and worked hard and our result, even though we did not win, was still a very good achievement. I am both sad to see it end, but also glad. It has been hard work, but worth every bit of sweat and every sleepless night."


Celebrations started early on board the Clipper with a traditional Aussie beer followed by champagne.

Durban Clipper, skippered by Craig Millar, finished Race 13 in third place, securing them 2nd place overall reflecting a consistently strong performance throughout the race. A disappointing Transatlantic race from New York to Jersey, when the South Africans finished in 8th place, left the Durbanites with too much ground to catch up to reclaim the overall lead.

The battle for the final podium position was closely fought, with just one point separating New York and Liverpool 08 when they started the race from Holyhead to Liverpool’s Bar Lightship on 28 July 2006. However, a good performance from New York who finished in second place, meant that they claimed third place overall. Liverpool 08 took fourth and were guaranteed a rousing welcome from the home crowd, who followed the local yacht’s fortunes throughout the last 10 months. But the very last race into the River Mersey still had five points up for grabs, as a number of positions were still undecided and it was down to ’the wire’ on the last day for a few Clipper crews.

The ten 68 foot yachts were scheduled to arrive at the famous Albert Dock at 12.30pm (BST) which they had left in September last year as they embarked on the race around the world.

Sadly this time the weather was damp and that put off a few spectators, but for the huge crowds that did materialise, the show was fantastic... An Air display marked the finish of the event as the Clippers sailed down the river and a Fire Tug marked the event with a curtain of water, plus a gun salute, added to the effect. The prize giving was also interesting with a few skippers getting thrown into the Albert Dock by their crews.  One went fully in and one had a lucky escape...

See lots more photographs from the race by clicking below...
 
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Click on for full story and photos...

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Clipper Race 2005 -  2006 results and extra information.

Over all results:-

Overall Finish Result Clipper
1st Place westernaustralia.com
2nd Place New York
3rd Place Liverpool 08
4th Place Victoria
5th Place Qingdao
6th Place Uniquely Singapore
7th Place Durban
8th Place Jersey
9th Place Glasgow
10th Place Cardiff
Click here to hear some audio interviews with the crews.

Related links:-

Archived Report Link
Interview with Andy Tomlinson before he embarked on the race. Click here
Clippers get a friendly Liverpool welcome. Click here
05-06 Clippers Set Sail. Click here
Related external sites Link
Ormskirk Sub-Aqua Club Click here
Clipper Ventures the race organiser’s website Click here

PLAY OUR VIDEO FROM 2005 SHOW!

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