The Da Nang-Vietnam team were greeted by thousands of spectators along the banks of London’s Thames River as they finished seventh at the 10th edition of the Clipper Round World Yacht Race on July 30, after eleven months of sailing on the world’s oceans.
The team enjoyed two podium finishes during the eleven month journey, which included a memorable first place victory in the race to Hobart, Australia, and third place in the penultimate race of the competition just 10 days ago.
Arriving back in London, from where they departed, Skipper Wendy Tuck, 50, who was adopted by the people of Da Nang when the fleet visited the city, said: “It was very emotional coming up the River Thames in London this morning, reflecting on everything we have been through in the last 11 months. I am so proud of my team. They started as novices, and now should be proud of what they have accomplished, tackling the worst conditions Mother Nature could throw up.
“We have experienced everything from hurricanes and a dramatic Pacific Ocean storm, which knocked our yacht down in the Pacific and meant we had to limp into Seattle. I have never seen conditions like it and hope to never again. Everyone really rallied together then to repair the boat and help people who were injured. Everyone stayed really calm and I couldn’t have asked for more as a skipper,” added Tuck.
“The city of Da Nang has been with us every step of the way. We felt their support from the start, and the stopover there was such an incredible highlight for all of us. It was my first time visiting Da Nang, but they have impressed me a huge amount and I’m looking forward to returning for a holiday. Thanks to the city and the people of Vietnam for following us and for believing in us. It made a huge difference,” she said.
A welcome party of representatives from Da Nang City was in London to meet the team, which it has followed and supported closely throughout the entire race.
Deputy Chairman of Da Nang City’s People’s Committee Dang Viet Dung was part of the delegation in London, and said: “I’m very happy to be here at St Katharine Docks today and see some old friends. I congratulate all the teams, especially team Da Nang-Vietnam, on completing the 40,000 mile Clipper 2015-16 Race.
“Despite not being the winner of the race, to us you are the winners because you sailed the yacht named Da Nang-Vietnam, bringing the image of the beautiful and hospitable coastal city of Da Nang to friends around the world. We are very proud of the bravery and endless efforts of Skipper Wendy Tuck and the whole team. Once again, congratulations and thank you team Da Nang-Vietnam," said Dung.
The fast growing coastal Vietnamese destination was a first-time team sponsor in this year’s Clipper Race, aiming to use the high profile of the event as a platform for boosting international trade, investment, economic impact and tourism, along with enhanced social, cultural and diplomatic relations.
Last week, Da Nang-Vietnam finished second place in the race from Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland to the Netherlands.