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10.07.2014

The fleet's homecoming to London starts from Den Helder, The Netherlands

(Clipper Race news release)

The Clipper Race fleet has departed The Netherlands in the final stage of the series which returns to London this Saturday (12 July) after covering more than 40,000 miles between six continents over eleven months.

Race 16 of the global series got underway at 1330 local time (1130 UTC) today, 10 July, off the Dutch coast near Den Helder for the 250 mile stage to London, UK. The teams are expected to have a closely fought battle on their hands as they go head-to-head to secure maximum points and improve their standings on the overall leaderboard.

The teams are due back in the UK on Saturday morning in a spectacular Parade of Sail up the Thames followed by the prizegiving in St Katharine Docks by Tower Bridge. Jamaica Get All Right was first over the line, followed by Henri Lloyd in second and GREAT Britain in third. All the teams are flying a spinnaker in 15 knots of north/north easterly winds.

Simon Talbot, skipper of home port entry GREAT Britain, in second place overall, said: “Everyone

has mixed emotions about it being the last race. It has been nearly a year of mine and the crew's lives with many of highs and lows.

“We have been through every kind of weather system with two hurricanes, a tornado that knocked us down, the frustration of the Doldrums and we even spotted a piece of iceberg.

“The crew are really pleased with where we are on the leaderboard and have high expectations on this final sprint too as we are sailing into my backyard - the Thames Estuary.

“Being the British boat we are very motivated to have a good crack at this final race home into London.”

Deputy race director Mark Light said: said: “It will be important to get a fast start on this point of sail as it is such a short race. This race will be intense tactically and physically, with the teams needing to trim and helm constantly. They won't be getting a lot of sleep. There are big tidal steams in the North Sea and around the UK coast, and the sooner they reach the UK coast the better, because then the wind will start to die off."

Henri Lloyd, skippered by Canadian Eric Holden, will officially be crowned the winner of the Clipper 2013-14 Race at the prizegiving ceremony in St Katharine Docks after the team’s fifth win and ninth podium overall into The Netherlands last week meant it could not be beaten.

The teams will be fighting for the final vital leaderboard points up for grabs with eight yachts still able to move up or down places.

The fleet’s progress can be tracked through the Clipper Race Viewer here.

The teams will poll every 30 minutes for the duration of the race, and every 10 minutes from the start of the Parade of Sail in the Thames Estuary on Saturday.