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Australian Skipper Starts Strong in Clipper Race All-Australian Leg 4

December 5, 2017 Sports No Comments Email Email

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet has begun its race around Australia, after departing from Fremantle for Sydney today.

Officially known as Race 4: The Clipper Telemed+ Tasman Test, the 2,500 nautical mile race down the west coast of Australia, through the Southern Ocean, and round Tasmania to Sydney, is the first of three races that make up the 4,693 nautical mile All-Australian Leg 4.

More than 200 people from 26 different nationalities will be taking part in the All-Australian Leg 4, including 22 Australians. One of the eleven professional Skippers guiding the teams also calls Australia home, and Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper Wendy Tuck is eager for a good result in the race to Sydney in order to warm up for her eleventh Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Before leaving the Fremantle Sailing Club, Wendy said: “I’m about to go home and I’m very excited. I can’t wait to see all my friends and family in my hometown. I’ve already been told by my friends that I need to arrive at a decent time not 0100 like on the last race edition!

“It’s going to be a tough race though, you can get a bit of everything south of Australia; wind holes, strong breezes, big seas, and it can either be cold, cold, cold, or you are in shorts and a t-shirt. So, you have to be ready for anything.”

Following a spectacular Parade of Sail on Fremantle Harbour, Wendy and her Sanya Serenity Coast team were first across the start line, followed by Dare To Lead andLiverpool 2018. The Sydney based Yachtswomen maintained her advantage throughout the race around the cans, with Sanya Serenity Coast leading the fleet around Rottnest Island and out to sea.

It’s a great start for the Australian Skipper, who is currently fourth in the overall standings, largely thanks to her line honours in the opening race from Liverpool, UK, to Punta del Este, Uruguay.

The race to Sydney is expected to take around 14 days, and will challenge the fleet, as Clipper Race Director Mark Light explains: “It was a beautiful race start, stunning conditions out on Fremantle Harbour with a great south-westerly wind as predicted.

“The race to Sydney is short by Clipper Race standards, but it’s still 2,500 nautical miles and it will take the teams back into the Southern Ocean, round Cape Leeuwin, and down to the bottom of Tasmania and then up to Sydney. So, 2,500nm is a short race for us, but not for most people and it will definitely be a challenge.”

Bass Strait will be the final test for the Clipper Race teams in the race to Sydney, though it will provide a good warm up for the fleet ahead of the Rolex Sydney Harbour Yacht Race, which doubles as Race 5 of the Clipper 2017-18 Race.

Clipper Race Founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, will be racing in the RSHYR for a third time and said: “It will be a good reconnaissance mission, as the Skippers and crew will need all the help they can get. They won’t let me beat them to Hobart if they can help it.

“The crew are excited about getting back out to sea and getting to Sydney. It’s going to be an interesting race, there’s a big high pressure over the Great Australian Bite, so it’s going to be fun to watch.”

The eleven 70-foot ocean racing yachts are expected to arrive into Sydney between 14 – 17 December and will be berthed at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. The teams will then turn their attention to preparing for the iconic Boxing Day race start of the RSHYR and the 650 nautical mile dash back down to Hobart in Tasmania. The All-Australian Leg 4 will finish with a race up the east coast of Australia from Hobart to Airlie Beach, where the crew will be welcomed by the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is unique in that it is the only event on the planet which trains non-professional sailors to become ocean racers. Approximately 40 per cent of crew members have never sailed before they sign up. 40,000 nautical miles in length, the circumnavigation is divided into eight legs.

As well as Australia, the global circuit of the Clipper 2017-18 Race includes stopovers in Liverpool, UK, Punta del Este, Uruguay, Cape Town, South Africa, Sanya and Qingdao in China, Seattle and New York, USA, Panama, and Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The race will finish in Liverpool on 28 July, 2018.

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