Wendy Tuck wins Clipper division of Sydney Hobart – barking orders

In an even fleet of 11 identical 70-footers in the Clipper Race fleet of the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Wendy Tuck is amazing – today she brought Sanya Serenity Coast and its huge crew of amateurs across the finish line at the head of their fleet, where all 11 boats arrived within 90 minutes of each other.

For Tuck, from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia which hosts the 628 nautical mile race, it was her second successive win in the Australian legs of the Clipper round-the-world race after winning the leg into her hometown Sydney. And she is the reigning Clipper Division champion from 2015 when she won the Jane Tate Memorial Trophy as first female skipper to cross the Hobart finish line.

Today she repeated that feat.

As for nearly every other boat in the fleet, it all could have gone pear-shaped between Tasman Island and the finish. For Sanya Serenity Coast, the downwind sailing had been awesome, then there were the doldrums off Cape Raoul.

“It was tough you know, conditions changed so much at the end. I didn’t have much hope for us, but at the end, when we had that little front come through, that heavy upwind stuff is where we excel.

“So that’s when we caught back up with the fleet. In that part between Tasman and Cape Raoul it could have been anyone’s game, boats were everywhere. It was just who got the breeze first and we just happened to get it.”

She said the fleet was so competitive.

“You can’t make one mistake. The only mistake we made was an over-ride on the winch, that was the only mistake we made. In that light patch, we had sails up and sails down. It was just horrendous for the crew. I just stood back and barked orders.”

By Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR media 

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