History has been made in Liverpool on Saturday as Australian sailor, Wendy Tuck, became the first ever woman to win a round the world yacht race after leading her Sanya Serenity Coast team to clinch overall victory in the Clipper 2017-18 Race.
Thousands of people from around the globe flocked to the banks of the River Mersey to watch the spectacular Race Finish Sprint. After an intense 18 nautical mile duel, it was Garmin, PSP Logistics and home team Liverpool 2018 that picked up the final bonus race points in front of Royal Albert Dock Liverpool.
Despite the sprint positions, it was Sanya Serenity Coast that managed to hold the overall lead and in an additional win for women’s sport, second place overall went to British Sailor Skipper Nikki Henderson, 25, the Skipper of Visit Seattle.
Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper Wendy, 53, from Sydney, said: “I can’t believe it. It hasn’t really sunk in really but I am just so happy. It is so, so special.
“I don’t think it’s about being a woman. It’s just do what I do. But I am very proud and even prouder of my team. They are the ones that did all the work and considering many had never sailed before, what they have accomplished is incredible.”
Visit Seattle Skipper Nikki Henderson said: “Congratulations to Wendy and her team – you were just too quick for us!
“We didn’t get the win but I am so proud of how my team dug deep and kept fighting right until the end. No matter how hard it got, they turned up on deck ready to work and deserve every bit of this success in coming second.”
One of the biggest cheers of the day went to home team Liverpool 2018. The bright pink team entry, which has been flying the flag for the city as it raced around the globe, returned to its home port to a hero’s welcome after double podium success in Race 13, where it finished second, and the Sprint Finish, where it took third place.
On arrival, Liverpool 2018 Skipper Lance Shepherd said: “It has just been an incredible journey, I am so honoured to have been Skipper of the Liverpool 2018 team and I am so proud of the team for everything they have achieved.”
The arrival of the Clipper Race Fleet into Liverpool was followed by a public prize giving hosted by radio presenter Leanne Campbell in front of a jubilant crowd on the steps of the Museum of Liverpool where each team’s achievements were celebrated for one final time.
Celebrations will continue throughout the weekend, with a programme of entertainment, workshops, free yacht tours and talks taking place until Sunday evening.
The Liverpool 2018 yacht will remain in Royal Albert Dock Liverpool until Sunday 05 August and will be open to the public for free tours daily from 10:00 to 18:00.
The Clipper Race is unique in that it trains non-professionals to be ocean faring sailors. Established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo, non-stop around the world, 40 per cent of Clipper Race crew have no previous sailing experience before signing up and undergoing the compulsory four weeks of training.
In total, 712 people representing 41 different nationalities and from all walks of life have taken part in the 40,000 nautical mile Clipper 2017-18 Race, the event’s eleventh edition.
Clipper 2017-18 Overall Results:
1. Sanya Serenity Coast – 143 Points
2. Visit Seattle – 139 Points
3. Qingdao – 135 Points
4. Garmin – 125 Points
5. PSP Logistics – 121 Points
6. UNICEF – 108 Points
7. Dare To Lead – 106 Points
8. Great Britain – 90 Points
9. Liverpool 2018 – 79 Points
10. Hotelplanner.Com – 69 Points
11. Nasdaq – 61 Points
by Kathryn Foulkes