Sydneysider Wendy Tuck will be the first Australian female sailor to skipper a boat in the gruelling Clipper Round the World Yacht race later this year.
She’s taken Oprah Winfrey and Russell Crowe sailing in Sydney Harbour, now Sydneysider Wendy Tuck faces the more serious challenge of being the first Australian female sailor to captain a boat in the Clipper Round the World Yacht race.
Tuck, 50, will lead a crew in the near year-long 40,000 nautical mile event spanning eight legs and 16 races, which will again include Australia in its gruelling schedule.
The race is for amateur sailors, with each of the 12 70-foot boats having a professional skipper and up to 23 crew.
The 2015-16 race starts in the United Kingdom in late August, with the fleet expected to arrive in Albany, Western Australia, in late November.
They will leave there on about December 1 to race to Sydney and will, for the second time, after 2013, include the iconic annual Sydney to Hobart race in their Australian program.
The fleet then races from Hobart to the Whitsundays just after the new year.
Tuck, who has contested eight Sydney to Hobart races, has spent the last decade as a sailing instructor and charter skipper.
“My main aim is to have a happy confident crew who have a great time,” Tuck said.
“But I’d also like to be up the pointy end of the results.”
Australia has enjoyed success in some of the nine previous Clipper races.
Spirit of Australia (2009-10) and Gold Coast Australia (2011-12) were skippered to victory by Australians, Brendan Hall and Richard Hewson, respectively.
Western Australia.com won the 2005-06 race, but didn’t have an Australian skipper.
The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69