Wendy Tuck, the Sydney skipper of team Da Nang- Viet Nam, has arrived into Cape Town, South Africa, at the end of the 3,400 nautical mile Race 2 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, crossing the line in sixth position.
Wendy, 50, the first Australian female skipper in the 20-year history of the race, improved on her Race 1 tenth place in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, known as one of the planet’s toughest endurance challenges.
In this leg across the South Atlantic Ocean, the Stormhoek Race to the Cape of Storms, conditions didn’t disappoint, pushing the fleet on in a fast and furious crossing with some record speeds in excess of 30 knots, with the front runners averaging a credible 10 knots across the entire 14 day dash.
Da Nang – Viet Nam skipper Wendy Tuck reported the exciting finish which saw her team cross the line six minutes ahead of the South African-sponsored entry IchorCoal after thousands of miles of racing. “We had a duel to the finish line which was so exhilarating.
“The crew morale on board is fabulous. Towards the end when we could see IchorCoal in front of us, we knew we had to get it. I was in the navigation station when I got the call from deck that it had stopped and parked in a wind hole. We went from having two reefs in and a number three headsail and getting gusts of up to 38 knots, down to 16 knots, and then nothing. It was quite extraordinary on how it closed up so quickly,” said Wendy.
“It’s hard racing out at sea waiting with baited breath for the six hourly reports to see where your competitors are, and to see if you have gained or lost. It’s very tense. The start was the first time we had sailed in really heavy winds upwind and we decided to go for the Scoring Gate which was pretty much upwind all the way.
“We figured by the time the weather changed we were halfway there so we thought we would go for it. It was good practice for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race because nobody had done it before. We then had really heavy downwind stuff that we didn’t experience in the last race which was a great learning curve for the crew,” Wendy added.
Wendy and Da Nang – Viet Nam – crossed the line on Thursday 22 October at 09:11:45 UTC (11:11:45 local), giving it a Race 2 elapsed time of 351 hours, 12 minutes.
In the evening of 21 October, GREAT Britain sprinted towards the race finish off the V&A Waterfront to take Line Honours at 2030 UTC; Derry~Londonderry~Doire broke free of the wind shadow to finish at 20.40.18 UTC followed by Garmin at 2102 UTC.
This race is being run on an elapsed time basis and the final positions and points will be awarded in ascending elapsed time. The shortest time wins. This is to account for the late start of LMAX Exchange and Qingdao after repairs following damage caused outside of racing during the stopover in Brazil. They started three days 11 hours and ten minutes after the rest of the fleet.
Between November 2015 and January 2016, the all-Australian Leg 4 will visit Albany, Western Australia, Sydney, Hobart as part of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race which the whole fleet will compete in as part of the circumnavigation, and Airlie Beach.