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Australian Skipper Claims Line Honours In Longest Ever Opening Leg Of Clipper Round The World Yacht Race

September 25, 2017 Sports No Comments Email Email

Australian Skipper Wendy Tuck claimed line honours today into Punta del Este, Uruguay, in the longest ever opening leg of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges.

Following an intense and eventful slog through the Atlantic Ocean, the Sydney yachtswoman and her Sanya Serenity Coast crew crossed the Finish Line at 16:46:46UTC (05:46:46 AEST), 32 days after setting off from Liverpool, UK.

On her achievement, Wendy said: “During the last big wind hole, which changed the leader board so much, I was pouring over the weather files for hours. I was pretty happy with my tactics but when you get to the wind hole and the wind completely drops, even though you know it is coming, you always have nightmares about other boats moving ahead, but you have to stick with your convictions.

“The crew have developed by leaps and bounds. We have a mixture of those who had sailing experience before and they helped to coach those with less experience. We had so many different situations, it’s just amazing how far they have come on.”

This is the second Clipper Race for Wendy Tuck, a veteran of ten Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races and the 2016 Jane Tate Memorial Trophy winner.

Wendy and her team also secured one bonus point during the race crossing the inaugural Scoring Gate in third position. However, the official winner of Race 1 is still to be confirmed as redress will be applied to two teams still competing.

The 6,363nM route from Liverpool to Punta del Este, which is the equivalent distance of ten Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races, was eventful, including three medevacs, and a varied mix of fickle winds in the Doldrums, challenging seas states, and champagne sailing conditions in the Trade Winds, which contributed to frequent changes on the leader board, and a closely fought battle amongst the fleet.

The Clipper Race is a unique adventure as it is raced by people like you. In 1996, legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968-69, founded the race as a way to give everyone, no matter their sailing experience, the chance to become an ocean racer.

Sir Robin said: “This first stage of the Clipper 2017-18 Race is the longest ever individual race in our eleven editions. You never forget your first ocean crossing and this particular one has been a major achievement for the crew, led by experienced Skipper Wendy. 6,400 nautical miles through the Atlantic, from North to South, is a huge feat for any sailor, let alone our amateur crew. They have put themselves to the ultimate endurance test.”

More than 700 people from all walks of life and representing 41 different nationalities are taking part in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, including 47 Australians. They are racing on twelve identical stripped back 70-foot ocean racing yachts, each led by a professional Skipper.

Race 2 of the Clipper 2017-18 Race starts on 4 October, departing Punta del Este and heading back into the Southern Atlantic as teams take on the 3,560 nautical mile race to Cape Town, South Africa. The Clipper Race fleet will then head to Australia, and will race to Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart (as part of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race), and the Whitsundays.

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