Wendy Tuck gears up for Rolex Sydney Hobart with Clipper Race victory

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  • By Martin James
  • 15 Dec 2017 14:34:56
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CYCA member Wendy Tuck, the Australian Skipper of Sanya Serenity Coast, has claimed a hometown victory following a photo finish to the fourth race of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

After dominating the 2,500 nautical mile race from Fremantle to Sydney, Wendy and her Sanya Serenity Coast team crossed the finish line just off Darling Point at 08:21:18 local time (21:21:18 UTC), just 17 minutes ahead of the second placed Visit Seattle, Skippered by 24 year old Brit Nikki Henderson.

Wendy said: “It was the most nerve-racking race of my life. The lead changed so much, it was such a competitive race so it feels amazing to get the win. Especially with all my family and friends here watching.”

Wendy and her Sanya Serenity Coast team dominated from the start of Race 4: The Clipper Telemed+ Tasman Test from Fremantle to Sydney. The team was first across the start line in Fremantle and led the way throughout the Southern Ocean section, picking up bonus points in both the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint and the Scoring Gate. It wasn’t until rounding Tasmania that firstly Qingdao and then Visit Seattle began to close in. The final 100 nautical miles was a drag race between the two female Skippers, though Wendy’s local knowledge saw her get the win.

Of the tight race, Wendy said: “It’s been an exciting race, so glad to have such great teams to race against. Nothing is ever certain, every little bit you get ahead could all just go crashing down so easily.”

This is the second podium for Wendy and Sanya Serenity Coast, who claimed line honours in the opening race from Liverpool, UK, to Punta del Este, Uruguay. The team is currently fourth in the overall standings, but will now add twelve points for the win, plus four bonus points to the overall tally.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which includes 49 Australian crew, 26 of which are taking part in the All-Australian Leg 4, sees amateur sailors on eleven teams battle against themselves and Mother Nature’s rawest and most remote conditions over an eleven-month, 40,000 nautical mile epic circumnavigation of the planet.

The entire Clipper Race fleet is expected to be at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia by Saturday afternoon, local time. The teams will be berthed at the CYCA until Boxing Day, when the fleet will depart for Tasmania as part of the iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

This is the third time the Clipper Race fleet will take part in the RSHYR, and will be the eleventh Bluewater Classic campaign for Skipper Wendy Tuck, who won the Clipper Division in 2015 on board Da Nang – Viet Nam, a feat that also saw her collect the Jane Tate Memorial Trophy as the first Skipper across the line in Hobart.

The All-Australian Leg 4 of the Clipper 2017-18 Race will finish with a race from Hobart to Airlie Beach, for the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival.

The All-Australian Leg is the fourth of eight legs that make up the 40,000 nautical mile, eleven month Clipper 2017-18 Race. Other stopovers include Punta del Este, Uruguay, Cape Town, South Africa, Sanya and Qingdao, China, Seattle and New York, USA, Panama, Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and Liverpool, UK, where the race will finish on 28 July, 2018.

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