The team crossed the finish line just offshore from the Sanya Serenity Coast Marina on Thursday 22 February at 20:41:20 local time (12:41:20 UTC), completing the 4,300 nautical mile Race 7: The Forever Tropical Paradise Race from the Whitsundays to Sanya in 23 Days, 8 hours, 41 minutes and 20 seconds.
Upon arriving into the 5 Gold Anchor globally accredited marina, Skipper Matt Mitchell said he was very proud of this team’s victory: “It’s awesome. It was pretty tense with every schedule when we got the position reports in and each time it did, we thought we had dodged a bullet. We dodged the final bullet this morning and we’re really pleased we managed to hold the others off.”
A huge crowd of supporters and well-wishers were gathered to cheer PSP Logistics into port, with the team paraded with great fanfare to the stage in the Clipper Race Village, where the Skipper and crew were presented with their winning pennant and officially welcomed to the tropical paradise that is Sanya.
Skipper Matt Mitchell said: “We’re happy to be here. It feels a bit overwhelming to be honest but we always knew arriving into China was going to be special.”
The greeting was the perfect reward for Matt’s team, who, after overtaking Qingdao for first place three days ago, had to work hard to hold on to their first win. Light winds in the final stretch to Sanya saw the chasing pack compress, with all of the remaining teams expected to finish within 24 hours of the winner.
Trevor Taylor, who is a 64 year-old Round The World crew member from Perth, Australia, said: “There were a few anxious moments over the last few days when we ran out of wind but luckily everybody else did too.”
Speaking about the arrival, he added: “The fireworks and all the “yahoo-ing” have made it really special. There are local people absolutely everywhere and it’s just fantastic.”
Round The World crew member Fiona Robertson, who is a British 34-year old Nurse, said: “We are finally a winner! It’s been a long time coming. The race was long, very hot, very sweaty. The last few days with the wind holes have been incredibly frustrating. We were just desperate to get here and we’re really happy to be finally here!”
The win in Sanya adds to the third place from the opening race from Liverpool, UK, to Punta del Este, Uruguay, and the third and second places won in Fremantle and the Whitsundays in Australia respectively. PSP Logistics Managing Director Frank Dixie, who will be attending the Sanya stopover, couldn’t be prouder of his team, saying: “We have seen Team PSP Logistics show their continued determination and resilience as the Clipper Race has progressed.
“This particular race has been nail-biting throughout, too close to call most of the time and I have even been waking up at intervals throughout the night to check for progress on the Race Viewer! It doesn’t get any better than this!
“All of us at PSP are extremely proud of Matt and the team for this incredible achievement and Jo (Director Jo Dixie-Goodwin) and I are very much looking forward to celebrating with them in Sanya!”
PSP Logistics, who went into Race 7: The Forever Tropical Paradise Race to Sanya in sixth place in the overall standings and twelve points off leader Sanya Serenity Coast, will earn twelve points for the win.
The eleven Clipper Race yachts, along with their crew and supporters, will be based at Sanya Serenity Coast Marina and will enjoy the activities and excitement of the Clipper Race Village – a hub featuring food stalls, model yacht racing and the Clipper Race Dome where people can experience what it is like on board, via virtual reality goggles, or try their skills at the Marlow Rope Knot Tying Station.