Australian female Skipper Wendy Tuck and the Clipper Race Da Nang – Viet Nam team has arrived into Seattle following the completion of the Mighty Pacific Ocean crossing which forced the team to retire after its yacht was knocked down by a large wave.
Orange-clad team supporters blasted out “Tubthumping (I Get Knocked Down)” by Chumbawamba, after Sydney Skipper Wendy Tuck made reference to the famous 90s song in her last blog during Race 9 of the ocean odyssey.
The crossing saw many powerful storms pound the 12-strong Clipper Race fleet, and Wendy’s team had been knocked down by a large wave on April 11 of the leg from Qingdao, China, forcing it to retire from Race 9 and motorsail to the USA.
Da Nang – Viet Nam suffered damage to the port side binnacle and helming bars in 45 knot westerly winds as a secondary low hit the back of the fleet. Skipper Wendy suffered a cut to the head which was treated by the on board medic, and other crew suffered cuts and bruises.
Upon arrival, Skipper Wendy Tuck said: “It feels fantastic to be here. We always knew it would be a tough and long leg – we were at sea 30 days. For the first two weeks, we were still awfully close with the other teams, and then it just comes down to crew work. Then, people started getting torn muscles and other injuries, and we had to put the brakes on a little bit and started dropping back in the fleet.
“We had front after front which we expected. As we were in the North Pacific, it just rolls on and the swells just kept on building, then it would die down a bit. The last one or two big swells didn’t die down after the last front, and that was what hit us in the end.
“The crew were amazing after the knockdown. We had three different teams working on getting the main down, freeing someone stuck under the helming cage, and a triage room going on downstairs. It was extraordinary how they all got to work straight away.
“The crew are really resilient. The first few days were hard, everyone was still quite spooked, me included as I had fallen out of my bunk into the nav station.
“Everyone really rallied round with the jobs that needed doing, and taking care of eachother. I am proud to call them my crew,” Wendy added.
The team was the twelfth to arrive into Bell Harbor, Seattle, completing the fleet’s arrival.
The team is seventh in the overall leaderboard following the completion of this leg.
The Clipper 2015-16 Race started from St Katharine Docks, London on 30 August 2015 and is the event’s tenth edition. Over 700 people from more than 40 different countries are taking part, and over 3,300 novice sailors have been transformed into ocean racers throughout Clipper Race history so far.