Chichester skipper Olly Osborne is virtually certain of taking second place overall in the Clipper Round The World Race after securing another podium finish at the end of leg 14 of the marathon event.
The result means that, barring a disastrous final leg back to The Solent later this month, his Visit Finland crew will finish runner-up to the all-conquering Gold Coast Australia.
Visit Finland was part of a tightly-fought three-way battle into the finish of the 800-mile leg from Londonderry to Den Helder in the Netherlands.
The Singapore entry took its first-leg win of the race, just 17 minutes ahead of Osborne’s crew, who were a further 17 minutes ahead of Gold Coast Australia.
Singapore bumped De Lage Landen off an overall podium spot with 92 points against 91, with Visit Finland creating a clear gap on 102 – though well behind Gold Coast’s 141 points.
‘It feels absolutely fantastic. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,’ said Singapore skipper Ben Bowley.
‘I think we’re all absolutely shattered – everyone’s been awake for the past 36 hours or so. It’s been a hard race and very challenging.
‘It was neck and neck all the way through, right down to the wire.
‘There was only about 17 minutes in it in the end but we are absolutely ecstatic. I am so please for the crew.
‘One of the things we said we really wanted to do was to finish in the top five and win at least one race.
‘As the race went on, we realised how dominating Gold Coast Australia have been so it’s all the sweeter for grabbing the yellow pennant.’
– PHIL RILEY