Clipper 2017-18 Race, Sanya Serenity Coast to come home in Feb in Leg 5
After a thrilling Sydney Hobart campaign for the Clipper Race fleet, teams have headed back on the water for Race 6: The Wondrous Whitsundays Race.
Teams lined up at 1100 local time (0000 UTC) on Friday January 5th to race 1,600 – nautical miles from Hobart, Tasmania, to Airlie Beach, in the Whitsundays. Forming the third and final race of Leg 4: The All Australian Leg, a key challenge for crews will be navigating through the dominating Eastern Australian Current (EAC).
Skipper Wendy Tuck and her team on board Sanya Serenity Coast, which won Race 4 and claimed line honours during Race 5, have been performing consistently well in the Skipper’s home waters and will be embracing the upwind conditions. Wendy explains: “The crew is excited to go into Race 6. It does help to have a good result, and then have a good result that could have been better because it makes them all work even harder.
“Fortunately, the team is really good at upwind sailing. The boat sails really well upwind, too. We look forward to upwind conditions because we normally do well. Even though its cold, wet and uncomfortable, we normally do well in it.”
The Wondrous Whitsundays Race is the third and final stage of leg 4, The All-Australian Leg. After that, the Clipper Race fleet will face challenges in Leg 5, The Asia-Pacific Leg. The Leg 5 race can be broken down into three distinct sections. The first is the tough beat north into prevailing winds as you head up the Gold Coast, past the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands and the wildness of the Northern Territories. Section two involves crossing the Equator, with the challenges of the Doldrums and tropical temperatures, and sailing past the remote communities on Papua New Guinea and into the Pacific Ocean for real. As the race finally enters the South China Sea and takes advantage of the north east monsoon winds, the fleet will hoist spinnakers and charge towards a warm welcome in Asia.
The Clipper Race fleet is anticipated to arrive in Sanya, a host port and team partner of the Clipper Race, for the first time in February 2018.