Belfast Telegraph

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race: 'Girl power' as skipper Nikki's yacht is first across the line in Londonderry

The crew of Visit Seattle celebrate as they arrive under the Foyle Bridge in first place
The crew of Visit Seattle celebrate as they arrive under the Foyle Bridge in first place
A piper welcomes the arrivals
Nikki Henderson, skipper of Visit Seattle
The Clipper yacht Unicef arrives in second place
Leona O'Neill

By Leona O'Neill

A Surrey-born woman sailed to victory and into the history books yesterday by becoming the youngest ever skipper to win the 12th race in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Nikki Henderson (24) and her Visit Seattle teammates battled across almost 3,000 nautical miles of sea, racing from New York to Londonderry in just 12 days, arriving to a hero's welcome.

Nikki's victory now sets up a thrilling last race which could see a first ever female winner in the 22-year history of the race - which trains everyday people to be ocean-faring sailors - and a female one-two on the podium.

Nikki will set off for an edge-of-the-seat duel for the overall Clipper Race Trophy against Sanya Serenity Coast skipper Wendy Tuck (53) from Sydney, Australia.

"It's girl power," said Nikki. "I try not to focus too much on the potential female one-two but I think that if it happened, it would be very special.

"Special for Wendy, special for me and also for the industry, just to show people that we don't have to be female sailors, we are just sailors, and male and female sailors are equal.

"And it does give us goosepimples to think we have technically now raced around the world and we are nearly back to where we started. It's very special."

Teams Unicef and Garmin came in second and third yesterday.

Belfast Telegraph


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