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Sydney Sailor Begins Charge To Be First Woman To Win Clipper Round The World Yacht Race

June 28, 2018 Sports No Comments Email Email

Australian sailor Wendy Tuck, 53 from Sydney, is set to begin her final push to become the first woman to win the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Wendy – a veteran of eleven Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races and two-time winner of the Jane Tate Memorial Trophy for being the first female Skipper to Constitution Dock – is preparing to begin the penultimate of the thirteen races that make up the 40,000 nautical mile, eleven-month circumnavigation of the globe.

After spending the last ten months racing more than 35,000 nautical miles around the world, the eighth and final stage of the Clipper Race will begin with a race across the North Atlantic Ocean from New York to Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

And the race across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, could cement Wendy’s overall Clipper Race victory. Her team, Sanya Serenity Coast, currently has a 19-point lead in the overall standings after one win and five second place results.

Wendy is taking the pressure to perform in her stride and said: “Although it’s super important to race as hard as possible to retain the lead, I am looking forward to the last ocean race.

“But it will be kind of sad to think it is the last one. Some of the team has been sailing with me since August last year so it will be really good fun.

“I’m not getting ahead of myself but I would be so proud to be the first woman to win the Clipper Race. I’m a proud Australian and there’s nothing better than flying the flag all over the world.”

The Clipper Race is unique in that it is the only ocean adventure that caters for non-professional sailors. Since it was founded in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world in 1968-69, more than 4,000 amateurs have been turned into ocean racers through the Clipper Race.

A total of 232 non-professional crew members representing 22 different nationalities, including 16 from Australia, are taking part in the race from New York to Derry-Londonderry, and waved goodbye to the Big Apple to rendezvous offshore for a Le Mans start at 2000 AEST Wednesday 27 June (1800 local time on Tuesday 26 June).

Race 12: The LegenDerry Race will be a tough 3,000 nautical mile race which is set to take up to 19 days and will feature the sixth and final ocean crossing of the circumnavigation. In the North Atlantic each of the eleven teams may encounter weather as heavy as it was in the North Pacific. Swirling depressions can result in high winds and big swells, whilst teams will also need to be on the watch for icebergs, though the strict ice limit will protect the fleet from getting too close to ice fields.

Clipper Race Director Mark Light said: “Taking a popular route across the North Atlantic, the fleet will initially head towards Canada. The Grand Banks, at the southern tip of Newfoundland, is renowned for thick fog patches and light winds as the Labrador Current brings cold water down from the Arctic, demanding vigilance from crew and Skippers.”

The final stage should be an enjoyable rollercoaster ride, with fast downwind sailing on offer in the prevailing westerlies. And all the effort will be worth it, when the teams arrive to the LegenDerry warm welcome in Derry-Londonderry, and all the fun and excitement of the Foyle Maritime Festival.

Following one final race, and after the teams have crossed six oceans and visited thirteen stopover ports on six continents, the fleet will return to Royal Albert Dock Liverpool almost a year later for Race Finish on Saturday 28 July 2018, where one of the eleven teams will be awarded the illustrious Clipper Race trophy.

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