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Australian Clipper Race skipper once again dominates Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

by Kathryn Foulkes, Clipper Ventures 29 Dec 2017 02:54 PST 29 December 2017
Sanya Serenity Coast (CV27) – Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race © Clipper Ventures / onEdition

Experience has proved the key for Australian Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Skipper Wendy Tuck, who has marked her eleventh Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race by achieving back to back wins in the Clipper 70 class.

Wendy, the Skipper of Sanya Serenity Coast (CV27), crossed the finish line in Hobart at 16:29:23 Local time (05:29:23 UTC) on Friday 29 December 2017 to finish first out of the eleven Clipper Race 70 foot yachts and 40th overall.

It's an incredible outcome for Wendy, who was the first Clipper Race and female Skipper into Hobart in 2015. Despite being in eighth position late on Thursday, Sanya Serenity Coast worked throughout the night to ensure victory.

"It was tough. The conditions changed so much at the end. It was awesome sailing that downwind stuff but, at the end, we had that little front come through and that heavy upwind stuff is what we excel at so that's when we caught up with the fleet."

Sanya Serenity Coast was ten miles astern when Garmin became the first Clipper Race yacht to reach Tasman Island in the early hours of Friday morning, local time. Despite closing down Garmin's lead after rounding Cape Raoul, it wasn't until Sanya Serenity Coast cornered South Arm that the team took the lead and Sydney Hobart veteran Wendy Tuck skippered her team to the win.

"In that part just after Cape Raoul it could have been anyone's game, boats were everywhere it was just who got the breeze first. We just happened to get it first, we saw one boat take off and we managed to get in the same breeze pattern as them, then we looked around and Garmin was there chomping at the bit.

"It's just extraordinary you can't make one mistake and in the light patch we had all the sails up and sails down. It was tough on the crew and they made not one mistake, so all down to the crew that we did so well."

The international Sanya Serenity Coast crew has seven different nationalities on board, including two Ambassadors representing the Chinese city of Sanya, which the Clipper Race will visit for the first time in February 2018.

This is the second consecutive Clipper Race win for Wendy's Sanya Serenity Coast, which also won the race from Fremantle to Sydney. The team was also first across the line in Punta del Este, Uruguay, but was awarded second place following a redress for winners Greenings. Sanya Serenity Coast is now due to overtake Qingdao at the top of the overall Clipper 2017-18 Race leaderboard after the latter team finished in eleventh position.

Garmin finished just two minutes after Sanya Serenity Coast to take second place, its highest podium to date and Nasdaq secured third place, its maiden podium. The full Clipper Race fleet crossed the finish line by 1800 local time and will be berthed at King's Pier Marina.

More than 200 crew from all walks of life and representing 26 different nationalities are taking part in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which doubles as Race 5 of the 40,000 nautical mile Clipper 2017-18 Race.

The Clipper Race is unique 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. Approximately 40 per cent of crew members have never sailed before they sign up for the 40,000 nautical miles circumnavigation, which is divided into eight legs and features six ocean crossings.

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

After ringing in 2018 in Hobart, the eleven Clipper Race teams will depart on Friday 5 January for the final of three races that make up the All-Australian Leg 4, a 1,500 nautical mile sprint up the east coast of Australia from Hobart to the Whitsundays. The crew will be welcomed in Airlie Beach by the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival, which will run from 13 to 29 of January. For more information, see the Clipper Race Carnival website.

As well as Australia, the global Clipper 2017-18 Race route also includes stopovers in Punta del Este, Cape Town, Sanya, Qingdao, Seattle, Panama, New York, Derry-Londonderry and Liverpool, where the eleven month race will finish on 28 July, 2018.

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