Clipper Race: Visit Seattle snares victory
Visit Seattle, led by 24-year-old British sailor Nikki Henderson, the youngest ever Skipper to lead a team in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race’s eleven editions, has held off a strong challenge from three other teams to chalk up a thrilling maiden victory in Race 6: The Wondrous Whitsundays Race.
During one of the most challenging stages so far in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, Visit Seattle crossed the finish line off the coast of Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays, Australia, at 15:05:36 local time (05:05:36UTC), completing the 1,600-nautical mile sprint up the east coast of Australia from Hobart in eleven days.
Arriving into Abell Point Marina where the Clipper Race fleet will be berthed, Skipper Nikki said: “It’s such a good feeling. I’m finally a bit more relaxed than the last 48 hours. It’s been exhausting!
This is the team’s second podium result after finishing second in Race 4, from Fremantle, Western Australia, to Sydney, and it was made to work hard for this victory. This morning saw Nikki Henderson, the youngest ever Skipper to lead a team the team off the coast of Mackay, just 5 nautical miles ahead of the second placed PSP Logistics. Sanya Serenity Coast, skippered by Australian Wendy Tuck, was only another mile astern, with just 7 nautical miles separating Visit Seattle from the fourth placed Liverpool 2018.
In the end, just 25 minutes separated Visit Seattle from second placed PSP Logistics, which takes its third podium result of the Clipper 2017-18 Race.
The Airlie Beach, Whitsundays, stopover marks the changeover port which completes the All-Australian Leg 4, and starts the Asia Pacific Leg 5. Distance wise, this stopover is also the approximate half way stage of the Clipper 2017-18 Race with 20,000nm of the 40,000nm, 13 stage course now completed.
Race 7, which will see the teams head approximately 4,200 nautical miles to Sanya, the first of two Chinese stopovers in this next leg, starts on 29 January. From there, teams will head to Qingdao, China; across the mighty Pacific Ocean to Seattle; Panama; and New York; before heading back across the Atlantic to Derry-Londonderry. The Clipper 2017-18 Race finishes on July 28, 2018.