As LMAX Exchange wins the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race after almost an entire year at sea, we take a look back at the highlights
It is not very often that institutional and retail FX news and research entities involve themselves in the extra-curricular sporting activities of the companies which they cover, as for the most part, covering such aspects as sports sponsorship or competitions is infra-dig.
However, in the case of Britian’s only multi-lateral trading facility (MTF) for FX, LMAX Exchange, a massive exception must be made today.
The Clipper Round The World Yacht Race is an arduous and long sailing venture, requiring committed skill and stewardship from the captain and crew of finely honed and purpose build racing yachts.
Yesterday, after almost an entire year at sea, LMAX Exchange won the 2015/2016 Clipper Round The World Yacht Race, covering a remarkable 40,000 miles, charting the evening sky in some of the most difficult conditions ever experienced in the event’s 20 year history.
Under the leadership of Mercurian skipper Olivier Cardin, the LMAX Clipper led at many points during the competition, including during the initial stages in the Irish Sea.
At sea for almost an entire year – we take a look at the early stages
Back on September 4, 2015, just four days into the event, fast-paced competition among the racing teams was a day of extreme excitement for the LMAX Exchange team as the yachts were still very much in each other’s sights at this early stage and the LMAX Exchange vessel was already forging ahead toward the lead.
Competing in the transglobal yacht race is aligned with LMAX’s modernity and avantgarde standing, however yesterday, at the front of the race for the entire day, LMAX Exchange led, with GREAT Britain once again less than a mile apart at times despite having gybed away from each other during the previous night.
North of the rumb line, Derry~Londonderry~Doire was in third position, North American navigation systems yacht, Garmin, remained in fourth place and Qingdao fifth (positions correct as of 0900 UTC), were chasing hard together.
As the race entered its fourth day, the fleet had headed toward toward Cape Finisterre and the generally northerly wind was forecast to veer a little towards north-north east to north east and probably increase, which is quite normal for that area due to an increased pressure gradient between the North Atlantic High (NAH) and the Iberian heat low, which was nearly stationary during the late hours of yesterday evening.
LMAX Exchange made its debut in global ocean racing with its entry into this event, having set off from London on September 1 to embark on the 40,000 nautical mile race.
In August last year, before LMAX had commenced its voyage, David Mercer, CEO of LMAX Exchange, had stated
“Overcoming challenges is at the heart of our business. It takes courage to disrupt the world’s largest financial sector and the competition, ambition and camaraderie required by the Clipper Race will also be a huge motivation for our own team.” After yesterday’s lead, Mr. Mercer can look back on this with conviction.” – David Mercer, CEO, LMAX Exchange
Earlier this year, Mr. Mercer trekked through the arctic to participate in a Guinness World Record-breaking rugby game at the North Pole. FinanceFeeds wishes LMAX Exchange great success in this tremendous adventure.
By the end of November, LMAX Exchange’s Clipper was forging ahead, winning a third stage of the event.
Wardan Whip not only braved, but completed in pole position
Arriving on the West Coast of Australia on November 22, 2015, 22 days into the event, the team completed the Wardan Whip, successfully navigating through the Roaring Forties, to complete the nearly 6,000-mile leg journey and to be the first to arrive. Yet again, Team LMAX Exchange overcame 80-foot swells and gale force storms to arrive into the Albany port at 21:43 (GMT) on Sunday 22nd November.
David Mercer, CEO of LMAX Exchange commented
“After winning the race to Rio to claim the first leg, it is great to secure another victory. The team led the way for the majority of the race from Cape Town to Albany – to see them cross the line first is fantastic.”
“I am looking forward to joining the boat in Sydney and experiencing the determination and resilience of the crew that has resulted in their success in the race so far.”
Skipper Olivier Cardin detailed the experience so far
“There was a lot of different conditions ranging between the low and high pressure systems and the anticyclone at the end. The first day we had a big storm and managed to weather it well by being in an easterly position in the fleet, and took the lead at this point. We all expected storms and big waves, and it was always wet on deck and down below, but it was not as extreme as we thought it would be, so we were always able to push the boat hard.”
“We are a very tough team and we know we can take the lead quickly and hold onto it. We are always motivated when we see the schedules and know we have to push harder if others are gaining miles on us, and that keeps us going. We pushed pretty hard and others behind pushed too.”
“The team always responds to whatever conditions are thrown at us, and are able to change the sails quickly, which makes it a lot easier for me tactically.”
David Mercer flies to Sydney, joins the race – November 2015
Just a few weeks after this victory in the Antipodes, LMAX Exchange CEO David Mercer took a flight from London to Sydney in order to join the team for the Sydney to Hobart section of the yacht race, the sixth stage of the fourteen stage event.
An avid sportsman and adventurer himself, Mr. Mercer conducted this with aplomb. His previous efforts have included a trek to the North Pole in April 2015 where he set a Guinness World Record for the northernmost game of rugby ever played in order to raise funds for children’s charity Wooden Spoon.
If you’ll excuse the pun, all was plain sailing for the next few months as LMAX Exchange’s Clipper navigated the high seas and braved storms yet continued to lead the way, until March 2016 when the LMAX Exchange crew made a rather macabre discovery in the form of an unidentified vessel off the coast of the Phillippines.
At this point, the LMAX Exchange crew was navigating the vessel through the stage of the race between Australia and Vietnam, and upon sighting the vessel, it appeared that there were no signs of life on board.
The LMAX Exchange crew boarded the vessel and discovered absolutely no crew, instead being confronted by a mummified body of missing German sailor Manfred Fritz Bajorat.
At that time, it was considered a possibility that Mr. Fritz Bajorat had passed away and with the effect of exposure to the elements and the passing of time, his body had become mummified and was found slumped over a small table.
Life at sea is most certainly a different dimension to life on terra firma, and this particular incident emphasized that matter even to those with no sea legs.
Winning the race
Regardless, LMAX Exchange’s team forged on and on July 30 this year won the entire race, with David Mercer having stated yesterday
We are thrilled to be crowned the overall winners of the Clipper 2015-16 Race. I’d like to thank all  crew who contributed to this herculean effort with special mention to our  round the worlders – the glue that kept our team bond strong throughout. We were very fortunate to have a mercurial skipper in Olivier Cardin and I thank him wholeheartedly for his sailing brilliance.
“The Clipper Race really is an extraordinary event for ordinary people and I congratulate Sir Robin, William and their team for organising a magnificent tenth edition of this unique event. As a sponsor I can’t recommend this event enough as a way to build your brand around the globe and give your clients an experience that money can’t buy” – David Mercer, CEO, LMAX Exchange
As a race participant I’d tell everyone considering the 2017-18 race to just go for it; it is once in a lifetime and you will experience thrills and hardships that you can’t comprehend but will change you for the better forever.
“Well done to all the teams and crew for completing the circumnavigation. Each and every one of you is an inspiration to us all. Finally we remember Andy and Sarah; your team did you proud.”