Even as the crews of the eight 60ft one design yachts are heading home the organiser has declared itself happy with the result.

There is an admission from Clipper Ventures plc that it has had its “share of curved balls over the 11 months of this race,” but a closing statement yesterday, issued three days after the yachts reached the finish line in Liverpool, declared that those balls had all been played successfully.

Certainly there can be no doubt that the event concluded with as close a finish as one might hope for after 16 legs: after reaching Liverpool on the final mini leg from Holyhead in light airs Jersey Clipper headed nearest rival Bristol Clipper by just two points, the equivalent of two minutes.

Winning skipper, Simon Rowell (37), said, “I can’t believe it’s over. This crew have fought tooth and nail, 24 hours a day for every mile of advantage.”

Reflecting on the achievement of both skipper and crew, Pierre Horsfall, Chairman of the Jersey Clipper Committee, said: “This is a monumental day for Jersey and our greatest sporting triumph, being in this race, is a brilliant vehicle for promoting Jersey around the world. I hope the combined willpower of the Island’s 85,000 population gave the crew that little bit extra. They have certainly made us unbelievably proud and have added a contemporary triumph to our rich maritime history.”

Clipper 2002 Race Director, Colin de Mowbray, today concluded: “We can all be justly proud of this event, but my overriding pride is to see the changes in the crew as they make their sad farewells around the Albert Dock. They are vastly different from when they set off 11 months ago with their doubts, fears and apprehension. I could swear that as they walk confidently around the Albert Dock, they are all three inches taller.”

The event concluded with a celebration dinner when St Georges Hall, Liverpool hosted 1,000 people.

Final results

1   Jersey Simon Rowell 97.5 points
2   Bristol Richard Butler 95.5 points
3   Liverpool Dam Kyffin 74 points
4   Hong Kong Justin Taylor 71 points
5   Glasgow Rupert Parkhouse 65 points
6   London Rory Gillard 57.5 points
7   New York Ross Daniel 55 points
8   Capetown Roger Steven-Jennings 30 points