First female Clipper skipper returns for a second circumnavigation

Wendy Tuck, 52, from Sydney, is set to become the first Australian skipper to complete two circumnavigations with the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Wendy, who was also selected as the inaugural Australian female Skipper in the 2015-16 edition, has been named as one of the twelve Skippers for the 2017-18 edition of the eleven month, 40,000 nautical mile ocean adventure, which starts in the UK in August.

On returning, Wendy says: “I loved the Clipper Race so much, it’s still in my blood.

“I learned so much in my last campaign. It was such an achievement to get to the end, despite all the tough times, and I’m just so proud to once again be representing Australia in this epic challenge.”

As Skipper of Da Nang-Viet Nam in the previous race, Wendy was the only female Skipper to finish the race and achieved a highly respectable mid-fleet finish in seventh place. One of her highlights was winning the Clipper Race class of the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which doubles as Race 5 of the All-Australian Leg.

A year on from this feat, which also saw her collect the Jane Tate Memorial Trophy as the first female skipper across the finish line in Hobart, Wendy recently completed her tenth RSHYR which resulted in her name being etched on the CYCA honours list.

Wendy added: “Winning our class in the Rolex Sydney Harbour Yacht Race was so surreal and definitely a dream come true. It has always been my dream to see my name on the CYCA honours list and to know I will get another opportunity to do the Bluewater Classic as a Clipper Race Skipper is incredibly exciting.”

The Clipper 2017-18 Race will feature two female Skippers, with Nikki Henderson, 23, from the UK, who will be the youngest Skipper in the event’s twenty-year history, also selected.

Founded in 1996 by William Ward and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world, the Clipper Race is the only event which allows amateurs the opportunity to become ocean racers and face Mother Nature in the most remote locations on the planet.

On Wendy’s return, Sir Robin said: “Wendy impressed us all greatly in the last edition and I’m so pleased she is joining us once again for the Clipper 2017-18 Race.

“To circumnavigate once is tough enough but to take on the challenge once again shows huge character and determination, and we know Wendy has plenty of that. A fantastic role model to female sailors and a great ambassador for Australia, I look forward to working with her again.”

Since completing the Clipper 2015-16 Race, Wendy has acted as the Chief Instructor and Principal of the Clipper Race Australian base in Sydney which trains crew ahead of the race start.

Wendy is the sixth Australian skipper in the history of the Clipper Race, and three Australian teams have won the Clipper Race in its previous ten editions. They were (2005-06), Spirit of Australia (2009-10), and Gold Coast Australia (2011-12). 

The eleventh edition of this unique biennial ocean race will visit six continents, and once again will include a leg from West to East Coast Australia which will see Wendy and the race fleet return to Sydney this December ahead of competing in the 2017 RSHYR.

Almost 5000 novices have been turned into ocean racers through the Clipper Race, though still more people have climbed Mount Everest than have circumnavigated the globe.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race will begin in the UK this summer and return almost a year later. The team with the highest total points at the finish wins the Clipper Race Trophy.

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