Sanya Serenity Coast finishes Mighty Pacific Leg 6 in 2nd place
Sanya Serenity Coast, led by Australian Skipper Wendy Tuck, navigated the light winds brilliantly to cross the finish line 08:01:15 UTC on 20/04 to claim its fifth podium of the Clipper 2017-18 Race and maintain its lead in the overall standings.
Qingdao crossed the finish line of the Mighty Pacific Leg 6 in first place.
The race from Qingdao to Seattle, the ninth of thirteen races that makes up the Clipper Race circuit, included the toughest conditions faced so far in this eleventh edition of the biennial ocean adventure.
Following a light wind battle off the coast of Japan, which added nearly a week onto the overall time spent at sea, the eleven Clipper Race teams experienced a ‘Phenomenal Sea State’, which saw the fleet battle waves of over 14 metres and hurricane force gusts of up to 80 knots. The skill and preparedness of Chris and his fellow Skippers ensured all emerged the front unscathed, and also set up some incredible racing, with the 70-foot ocean racing yachts reaching record speeds of up to 35 knots.
The racing for the final two positions on the podium went down to the wire, with second to sixth place separated by just 8 nautical miles on the final day of racing across the world’s biggest ocean.
The result is extra special for Wendy, who explains: “For me, crossing the North Pacific was always something I needed to do. Last race we had a knock down and pulled out of the race as we didn’t know how much damage we had sustained and how my injuries might have panned out. In the end these boats are tough, they will get round the world.
“So, the North Pacific is done. We never conquer an ocean, we just hope for a safe passage. This crew has done an incredible job. It has been long, it has been tough, it has been incredibly frustrating, but the crew have always kept morale up. Everyone has pulled their weight and kept going.”
Unicef, Skippered by British Yachtsman Bob Beggs, completed the podium by being third across the finish line.
As well as picking up 12 points for the race win, Qingdao, which has scored more bonus race points than any of its competitors so far, will also collect four extra points: three for being first through the Scoring Gate and one for being third fastest through the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint.
Whilst this is the first win for the team, it is unlikely to affect its overall standings where it is second to Sanya Serenity Coast.
Qingdao and Sanya Serenity Coast are currently motoring through the Puget Sound to Seattle.
The full Clipper 2017-18 Race fleet is expected to have arrived at Seattle by Monday 22 April. The fleet will be berthed at Bell Harbor Marina in the Port of Seattle until the first race of the US Coast-to-Coast Leg 7 from Seattle to Panama begins on Sunday 29 April.