Australian Skipper Has Brilliant Start in Race Home to Sydney

02 December 2017

The Clipper Race fleet has left Fremantle, bound for Sydney, and Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper Wendy Tuck clearly can’t wait to be home, with her team dominating race start for Race 4: The ClipperTelemed+ Tasman Test.

Following a spectacular Parade of Sail on Fremantle Harbour, Wendy and her Sanya Serenity Coast team switched quickly into race mode, and were first across the start line, followed by Dare To Lead and Liverpool 2018.

Before slipping lines at 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.”

Sanya Serenity Coast continued to lead the way throughout the race around the cans, and by the time teams reached the final mark, Sanya Serenity Coast’s had extended its lead and Qingdao had moved up into second place, with GREAT Britain hot on its heels. Sanya Serenity Coast maintained a healthy distance on the rest of the fleet as the team headed north-west around Rottnest Island, before turning south and out to sea to Sydney.

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. Clipper Race Director Mark Light says: “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.”

Wendy isn’t the only one on their way home to Sydney. Nick Redman, who has returned for his third Leg on board Liverpool 2018, says: “I haven’t been home to Sydney in nine months so what a way to enter, on board Liverpool 2018 and as part of the Clipper Race.

“It’s been quite a trip, starting in Liverpool and racing to Punta del Este, Uruguay, and then to Cape Town, South Africa, so I can’t wait to see my friends and family.

“But I want to win. Liverpool 2018 hasn’t made it on the podium yet so I want this to be our race.”

In total, 22 Australians are taking part in the All-Australian Leg 4, whilst there are another 25 nationalities represented among the 200-odd other members of crew.

The race to Sydney is expected to take around 14 days, with the fleet to dash down the west coast of Australia to once again take on the Southern Ocean. Here the Clipper Race teams will experience the most southerly point of the entire circumnavigation, before rounding Tasmania to head north to Sydney, where the fleet will be berthed at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

According to Clipper Race Meteorologist Simon Rowell, the next few days should be fast, explaining: “The low moving down the coast over the next two days will bring some quite messy weather at times, but should actually help you get into the decent winds on the other side of the high. The low isn’t that strong, but expect quickly changing conditions, strong squalls coming through with gusts up to 40 knots occasionally.”

To follow the progress of the Clipper Race fleet, keep an eye on the Race Viewer, and also read the daily updates from the boats in the Skipper and Crew blogs.

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