We, that is Qingdao crew, did not know what to expect of Den Helder, but we were pleasantly surprised to find a very different stopover which whilst relaxing was also very well organised. The Den Helder Clipper Race Festival was well attended and supported by all the local population, the organisers did a great job and we certainly felt welcome, many of the crew suggesting that it was one of the best stopover ports. So thank you to the people and organisers of Den Helder Clipper Race festival.

Race 14 which closes the loop and completes the global circumnavigation set off in fine style with a spinnaker run over the start line. It was an exciting start followed with a long beat to windward to clear to the south of the Traffic Separation Scheme.

It has been a long night with few of the crew getting much sleep. As we occasionally cross tacks with our competitors we can see the crews all lined up on the windward rails.

Qingdao is joint fifth on points with Da Nang – Viet Nam, Mission Performance, and ClipperTelemed+ they are all just behind us but there is still 18 hours to go with fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth place still to be decided in the next few hours.

This year long odyssey is about to end and for many round the world crew and Skippers alike there might be a feeling of "what now" and help, what am I going to do! But for me it is simple, it is time to go home to my family. It’s been a long year! For the Qingdao crew - remember you have just circumnavigated the world - well done.

Cheers Bob

Elliot Brown Watches - Official Time Keeper Until Race Start : Liverpool Map + Race Standings