High hope for Sanya, final race of Clipper 2017-18 Race underway
Race 13 of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race got off to a clean start at 1700 local time from Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland on July 22nd, 2018.
Race 13 is the last test of the circumnavigation which will return the eleven teams to Liverpool, UK, on Saturday, 28 July.
Sanya Serenity Coast, skippered by Wendy Tuck, 53, went into the final race at the top of the leaderboard with 137 points.
Teams will race anti-clockwise around Ireland, to Liverpool, which is expected to take five days.
This 900 nautical mile (nm) dash around Ireland could prove to be the make or break race for teams sitting closely on the overall leaderboard. In the running to be the Clipper 2017-18 Race winner, Sanya Serenity Coast leads Visit Seattle and Qingdao (both tied in second and third respectively)by 14 points, but victory is far from secure.
Teams will race anti-clockwise around Ireland, to Liverpool, which is expected to take five days. The final race will conclude with a thrilling sprint finish up the River Mersey on 28 July, towards the Royal Albert Dock, where crew will be given a heroes’ welcome by family, friends, and over 100,000 expected spectators.
In an exciting outcome for women’s sport, Visit Seattle Skipper Nikki Henderson and Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper Wendy Tuck are competing to be the first ever female winner in the event’s 22 years, with the strong likelihood that both will end up topping the overall standings.
In an exciting outcome for women’s sport, Visit Seattle Skipper Nikki Henderson and Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper Wendy Tuck are competing to be the first ever female winner in the event’s 22 years, with the strong likelihood that both will end up topping the overall standings. This would be a ground-breaking result for sailing, as a female Skipper has never before won a round the world yacht race, and also for sport in general where it is rare to have women and men compete in the same competition.
Ahead of departing for the race start, Skipper Wendy Tuck said: “It’s time for us to pull out everything we have, last night one of my crew reminded me that when I first met the team I said I was aiming for a top four finish. We can certainly aim higher now.”
“I have had an awesome year and I feel privileged to have been the leader of this amazing crew. To my biggest competitor in this final race I say, Nikki you are amazing, at 24 I couldn’t even be in charge of myself, let alone up to 50 plus crew who you have got round the world fast and safely. However we finish up, women’s sailing will be the winner.”
James Wrightson, 50, from Southampton, UK, a crew member on board Sanya Serenity Coast, says: “To win the Clipper 2017-18 Race would be a fantastic crowning moment. Not only for the crew but we also really want to do it for our Skipper Wendy. This is her second time around and it means so much to her. We’re really proud to get to this position and maybe make her dream come true. She’s got what it takes, the crew have got what it takes, the boat has what it takes, and the feeling on board is that it’s now ours to take.”
Asked what winning would mean to the crew, James adds: “We want it now, we really, really do. I think it’s one of those things that’s going to mean so, so much to us.”