Press Release


July 9, 2018

Media Contacts:

Chantelle Lusebrink, Visit Seattle
(206) 461-5862 |

Mara Mote, Seattle Sports Commission
(206) 461-5803 |

Visit Seattle Crowned Queen of the North Atlantic

Skipper and crew capture first place in Race 12 from New York to Ireland, in hunt for Clipper Round the World Race podium finish

SEATTLE – Marking her third victory in the daunting race around the world, the Visit Seattle yacht and her crew triumphed in Race 12 from New York to Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Led at the helm by Nikki Henderson, 24, from Surrey, UK – the youngest skipper to ever command a yacht in the daring Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – Visit Seattle completed the 3,000 nautical mile venture across the North Atlantic Ocean in just over twelve days.

The victory obtained by Visit Seattle in Race 12 across the Atlantic has laid the framework for Clipper Race history with the first projected female winners in the Clipper Race’s 22-year lifespan. With nearly all 40,000 nautical miles sailed, Nikki Henderson and Visit Seattle will vie for a first place podium finish for the Clipper Race trophy against Sanya Serenity Coast Skipper, Wendy Tuck, 53 from Sydney, Australia.

“I am so proud of how hard my team worked to get this win. The crew never let up over the past two weeks and really deserve this result,” Henderson said of the win. “We will certainly be celebrating the result in Derry-Londonderry, but we all know the job isn’t done yet. The overall Clipper Race leaderboard is very close so the final race to Liverpool will be very exciting.”

“Nikki and the Visit Seattle Clipper Team are putting everything they have into this journey and it has been exhilarating to watch them capture the win here in Derry,” Seattle Sports Commission Executive Director Ralph Morton said.

This is the second consecutive race in which Visit Seattle, the city’s official destination marketing organization, has partnered with the Port of Seattle and the Seattle Sports Commission (SSC) to sponsor a yacht for the Clipper Round the World Race. The race is unlike any other as it is the only event on the planet which trains everyday people to take on one of Mother Nature’s toughest endurance challenges – a full 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation of the world. It is a natural fit for Visit Seattle and its partners as a way to celebrate the city’s storied maritime history and the yacht helps to showcase the city as an inviting and open destination for business and leisure travelers alike.

“The final leg will certainly be a race to watch, as Nikki could not only be the first female winner in Clipper Race history, but also the youngest-ever,” Morton said. “The SSC, and all of Seattle, are cheering on our team and congratulate them on their numerous accomplishments over the course of the almost 11 months since this race began.”

On Sunday 22 July, the Clipper Race fleet will depart for the final stretch, from Ireland to Liverpool, with Visit Seattle in the hunt to take home the prized trophy in this monumental Clipper Race of firsts.

Visit Seattle has served as the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Seattle and King County for more than 50 years. A 501(c)(6) organization, Visit Seattle enhances the economic prosperity of the region through global destination branding along with competitive programs and campaigns in leisure travel marketing, convention sales and overseas tourism development. Nearly 40 million annual visitors spend $7.4 billion in the city and county each year. The economic power of travel and tourism generates more than 76,000 Seattle area jobs and contributes $762 million in annual state and local tax revenue. Go to

The Seattle Sports Commission (SSC) is committed to making Seattle a world-class sports community by creating opportunities that bring the world to the Pacific Northwest. By fostering a strong sports culture, the SSC seeks to strengthen businesses, foster generational engagement in athletics and bolster pride in our communities. Go to to learn more about the SSC, a division of Visit Seattle.

The Clipper Race will visit six continents and include six ocean crossings in the eleventh edition of this unique biennial race. Almost 5000 novices have been turned into ocean racers during the past twenty years of the Clipper Race, though still more people have climbed Mount Everest than circumnavigated the globe. Around 710 crew come from all walks of life and from all around the world, with over 40 different nationalities represented. Crew can complete the full circumnavigation, or one or more of the eight legs that make up the Clipper Race. The eleven teams in the Clipper 2017-18 Race began in Liverpool in August 2017, and stopovers include Punta del Este, Cape Town, Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart, The Whitsundays, Sanya, Qingdao, Seattle, Panama, New York and Derry-Londonderry.  The fleet will return to Liverpool’s Albert Dock almost a year later for Race Finish on Saturday 28 July 2018, where one of the teams will be awarded the illustrious Clipper Race trophy. Visit






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