Clipper Race fleet finishes Sydney Hobart unscathed ahead of Whitsundays stopover

The Clipper Race fleet has arrived into Hobart after finishing famous Australian offshore classic the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (RSHYR).

Wendy ‘Wendo’ Tuck, the first female Australian skipper in the history of the Clipper Race, clinched first place in the Clipper 70 class of the RSHYR.

There won’t be much time to celebrate or rest in Hobart for the Clipper Race fleet as the next test, the Henri Lloyd Hobart to Whitsundays Race, starts on 2 January. The fleet is estimated to arrive into Abell Point Marina, Airlie Beach, between January 13 and 14, with the race to Da Nang, Viet Nam, restarting there on January 18.

Wendy, the Sydney Skipper of Da Nang – Viet Nam, managed to hold off GREAT Britain and LMAX Exchange in a tight, tactical battle up the Derwent River in the closing stages of the RSHYR.

The team crossed the line at 1601 AEDT (0501 UTC) 30 December and finished in a highly respectable 22nd place in overall line honours.

At one point over the last 24 hours, the gap had narrowed to less than 3 nautical miles before Wendo opened up her lead to 10 nautical miles in the final few hours. Da Nang – Viet Nam managed to keep up good speed over the last 30 miles after the threat of lightening winds didn’t materialise.

It is the first podium for Wendo and team in the Clipper 2015-16 Race global series. This is Race 5 of 14.

“This is my favourite Sydney Hobart ever,” said Wendy who has now finished her ninth Sydney Hobart. “It was so intense, it was horrible over the last few hours but we managed to avoid the wind holes and keep up good speed with the rest of the Clipper 70 fleet bearing down on us. We only lost speed momentarily. I was trying not to get excited, but the crew were so excited as we approached the finish.

“The crew have really performed and I am so impressed. In this race, I realised I can push them harder, and that is going to be key going forward from here. We know we can get the results,” Wendy added.

Wendy also takes the Jane Tate Memorial Trophy for being the first female Skipper across the finish Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race finish line.

Also aboard celebrating the win is local Hobart resident David Graney, a round the world crew member.

GREAT Britain finished the RSHYR in second place in the Clipper 70 class at 1722 local time/0622 UTC, and LMAX Exchange in third place at 1739 AEDT/0639 UTC.

From Abell Point Marina, Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays, the Clipper 70 fleet will race onto Da Nang, Viet Nam, for the first time in the 19-year history of the Clipper Race. The fleet will arrive into Viet Nam in mid-February 2016.

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