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Sydney Celebrates Hometown Winner In Clipper Race’s Fourth Leg

15th December 2017
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Santa Serenity Coast crosses the finish line in Sydney to complete Race 4: The Clipper Telemed+ Tasman Test Santa Serenity Coast crosses the finish line in Sydney to complete Race 4: The Clipper Telemed+ Tasman Test Photo: Clipper Ventures

#ClipperRace - Sanya Serenity Coast skipper Wendy Tuck has geared up for her 11th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race by winning the fourth leg of the 2017-18 Clipper Race late on Thursday 14 December Irish time.

It was a photo finish between Sanya Serenity Coast and Visit Seattle, but Tuck used her local knowledge to cross the finish line at 21:21:18 UTC/Irish time (Friday 15 December at 08:21:18 local time) to secure the win in her home town of Sydney.

“It was the most nerve-racking race of my life,” said Tuck. “The lead changed so much, it was such a competitive race so it feels amazing to get the win. Especially with all my family and friends here watching.”

Tuck and her Sanya Serenity Coast team dominated the 2,500 nautical mile Race 4: The Clipper Telemed+ Tasman Test from Fremantle to Sydney, being in the top half of the fleet for the whole distance and occupying top position for much of it.

She was given a close run for her money by Visit Seattle, with both teams being neck and neck at 7pm Irish time with just over 21 nautical miles to go.

Visit Seattle — led by the youngest ever Clipper Race skipper, 24-year-old Nikki Henderson — claimed its first podium position of the Clipper Race when it crossed the finish line at 21:38:03 local time, less than 17 minutes after Sanya Serenity Coast, to clinch second place.

It was much deserved after being in to the top three positions ever since Day 3. Henderson said: “It was really good fun. It was really hard work but it was nice to have some inshore racing but it is a really good feeling to get a podium. And if you have to come second to someone, then I’m pretty happy for it to be Wendy.”

Later on Friday morning in Sydney, Qingdao has claimed its own maiden podium for the race by finishing third at 09:43:06 local time, just over an hour behind Visit Seattle.

“It’s fantastic, what a great way to come to Sydney, being on the podium for the first time,” said skipper Chris Kobusch.

What’s more, Qingdao will remain first in the overall Clipper Race standings after claiming four bonus points in Race 4, one in the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint and three in the Scoring Gate.

It’s the third time Qingdao has been first across the Scoring Gate, and the team has picked up Scoring Gate bonus points in all four races so far.

PSP Logistics narrowly missed out on a third podium but clinched fourth place to complete Friday morning’s arrivals into Sydney.

The podium places had looked assured with a few hundred miles to go but PSP Logistics gave the front-runners cause for concern, finishing within an hour and 16 minutes of third place as the team crossed the finish line at 10:59:00 local time (23:59:00 UTC).

PSP initially opted for an early tactical move of heading the furthest south of the teams out of Fremantle, but were unable to find the favourable conditions that skipper Matt Mitchell had been looking for.

However, by Day 8, as the fleet converged around the southerly point of Tasmania the team rapidly climbed the leader board with a favourable tack round the aptly named Race Mark Mitchell.

After a hard slog up from Tasmania, Dare To Lead is now in Sydney as the fifth team to cross the finish line, at 7.12am Irish time today (18:12:27 local time), to complete the first day of arrivals.

Making it to Sydney in daylight hours was a close run thing, with the team forced to negotiate a nasty wind hole just before entering the Heads.

The team will add eight points to their already respectable 37 points overall after finishing in fifth position.

The rest of the teams currently expected in by the end of Saturday but wind hole frustration is setting in.

Unicef is in front with 49 nautical miles to the finish as at the latest tracking info, with Garmin 30nm behind in seventh, a battle for eighth between GREAT Britain, Liverpool 2018 and Nasdaq, and Conall Morrison’s HotelPlanner.com keeping up the rear some 15nm adrift of that squabble.

Published in Clipper Race
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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