Clipper Race: Women rule the waves

Published on December 16th, 2017

It was a thrilling first stage of the All-Australian Leg of the Clipper 2017-18 Race which featured some of the closest ever Clipper Race finishes and a sensational home town victory for Sydney Skipper, Wendy Tuck, on board Sanya Serenity Coast who claimed the maximum twelve points.

For the first time in Clipper Race history, it was a female Skipper one-two with Clipper Race Skipper, Nikki Henderson, and her Visit Seattle crew finishing just seventeen minutes behind the winners.

“I don’t like bringing the whole women in sport thing up because I’m a sailor, I like sailing with people,” said Tuck. “But sometimes you’ve got to go, ‘yeah, we’ll take that one’. Nikki is an amazing sailor. She’s 24 years old and she’s second and it is fantastic for her.”

It was also a maiden podium place for the overall race leader, Qingdao, with Skipper Chris Kobusch and crew collecting the 3rd Place pennant.

The sailing conditions on this race were extremely varied from fast downwind spinnaker sailing conditions to a hard, upwind slog to Sydney. In the Scoring Gate challenge Qingdao kept up its record of scoring bonus points in all races and was the first team through for the third time claiming three bonus points once again, Visit Seattle getting two and Sanya Serenity Coast took the final bonus point.

In the closest Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint of the Clipper 2017-18 Race edition, an incredible thirteen seconds separated the top two teams with Sanya Serenity Coast claiming a further three bonus points and Visit Seattle getting two points. Just three minutes 16 seconds separated the top three teams with Qingdao taking the final bonus point.

And just when you thought finishes in sailing couldn’t get any closer, the battle for eighth place in The ClipperTelemed+ Tasman Test between GREAT Britain and Nasdaq was deemed to be a tie.

Race Director Mark Light explained: “We have had some really close finishes over the years, finishes by just seconds, but this is physically too close to split, it’s a dead heat. It doesn’t really get any closer than this.”

The result means that both GREAT Britain and Nasdaq will share eighth place, and receive five points apiece, while Liverpool 2018 and finish in tenth and eleventh respectively. The effect on the overall leaderboard is as follows (with penalty points for Race 3 and Race 4 yet to be taken into account):

1: Qingdao – 52 points
2: Sanya Serenity Coast – 45 points
2: Dare To Lead – 45 points
4: Visit Seattle – 40 points
5: GREAT Britain – 39 points
6: PSP Logistics – 33 points
7: Garmin – 25 points
8: Unicef – 22 points
9: Liverpool 2018 – 21 points
10: – 19 points
11: Nasdaq – 13 points

The second of the three stages that comprise the All-Australian Leg will see the fleet compete in the iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which begins on Boxing Day (December 26) 2017. This will be the third time that the Clipper 70s have joined this blue water classic with its spectacular start in view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the fleet will have already covered over 17,000 of the race’s 40,000 nautical mile route since Race Start in Liverpool on August 20.

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The fourth stage of the Clipper 2017-18 Race, officially known as Race 4: The Clipper Telemed+ Tasman Test, includes three races along the Australian coast. The 11 teams will race from Fremantle to Sydney, Sydney to Hobart, and Hobart to Airlie Beach in the heart of the picturesque Whitsunday Islands.

The first of three races started December 2 for the 2500nm course from Fremantle to Sydney.

The All-Australian Leg is the fourth of eight legs that make up the 40,000-nautical mile, eleven-month Clipper 2017-18 Race.

Background: Held biennially, the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race got underway August 20 for the fleet of twelve* identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s. The 40,000nm course is divided into 13 individual races with the team having the best cumulative score winning the Clipper Race Trophy. Each team is led by a professional skipper with an all-amateur crew that signs up for one, some, or all the races. The 2017-18 race, expected to take 11 months, has attracted 712 people representing 41 nationalities, making it the largest to date.

* Twelve teams began the first leg but one yacht (Greenings) ran aground just hours after the start on October 31 of the third leg from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Australia. The crew was safely evacuated but damage to the boat was deemed too extensive for it to continue in the 2017-18 edition.

Race RouteRace Schedule and Miles


Source: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race


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