Please select your home edition
Edition
Clipper Ventures
JOIN THE RACE JOIN THE 2019-20 RACE MAGAZINE DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL SOUVENIR RACE MAGAZINE Check out the latest photo galleries from The Clipper Race
UNICEF ABOUT UNICEF

Youngest ever Clipper Race skipper scoops prestigious Yachting Award

by Kathryn Pridie 6 Mar 18:53 GMT
Visit Seattle, Leg 5, Race 1, Day 1 - Clipper Race © Clipper Ventures

Clipper 2017-18 Race Skipper Nikki Henderson has been awarded the prestigious Yachting Journalists' Association (YJA) Yachtsman of the Year Award after making history when, at 24, she became the youngest ever skipper to compete in the biggest round the world yacht race.

The award, which was presented jointly to the 25 year old, and Tracy Edwards MBE for her work with Maiden, during a ceremony in London.

Cliff Webb, YJA Charman, said: "The YJA is delighted to recognise Nikki's achievement in becoming the youngest skipper ever in the Clipper Race, and to have guided her crew to a second placed finish overall, missing outright victory by the narrowest of margins, is really remarkable.

"She showed extraordinary skill, seamanship, and race tactics through eleven tough months of competition, where she shouldered the responsibility of keeping her crew safe, while teaching people more than twice her age. It was an outstanding performance, showing tremendous leadership and team building qualities."

The accolade also marked Nikki's performance achievements during the 2017-18 edition where she led her Visit Seattle team to second place, just four points behind Australian Wendy Tuck's Sanya Serenity Coast team, securing an all-female one-two on the podium.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Nikki said: "It is all well and good being ambitious and brave as a young person, but it also takes people to have faith in you and give you the breaks. To everyone in my life who has given me those opportunities; thank you, and I hope I have done you proud!"

The Clipper Race is unique in that it trains everyday people to become ocean racers with 40 per cent of crew having never sailed before. Nikki skippered her Visit Seattle team 40,000 nautical miles around the world battling phenomenal sea states with 14 metre high waves, hurricane force winds, boat speeds up to 35 knots (equivalent to 40 mph), extreme heat and freezing conditions. Anyone over the age of 18 can participate as a crew member in the Clipper Race and the oldest crew member of Nikki's Visit Seattle team was 71 years old almost three times her age.

The YJA award ceremony also celebrated the achievements of Clipper Race Co-Founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who will reach two significant milestones over the next month; his 80th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his Sunday Times Golden Globe Race achievement.

Speaking about Nikki during the last edition of the race, he said: "One of her strengths is her leadership. She built a happy and cohesive team and made these 50 people, men and women of all ages and from different nations from around the world, buy into her team ethos "sailing with style'. It takes a special kind of person to be a Clipper Race Skipper part teacher, counsellor and sports coach and so to lead her team to second place (and it was a nail-biting finish) is an amazing achievement."

Over the 11 months of the race, Nikki led her team to three outright race victories and two second place finishes in 13 races. She was able to guide her novice crew safety around the world with little damage to the yacht despite surviving the roughest weather of the fleet through mountainous seas in the North Pacific crossing.

Previous YJA Yachtsman of the Year award winners include Clipper Race crew member Gavin Reid, a profoundly deaf sailor who was instrumental in the rescue of a non-Clipper Race crew off the coast of Australia during the 2015-16 edition and Co-Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who has won it four times.

Related Articles

ATPI Sports Events to partner the Clipper Race
Unified, seamless and cost-effective travel expertise Adam Knights, Regional Managing Director, UK, France, Benelux, ATPI Group, said: "The Clipper Race is one of the world's furthest travelling sports, covering 40,000 miles divided into eight legs. Posted on 17 Jul
Clipper Race confirms host ports for its final leg
Host Port destinations will form the penultimate 'US Coast-to-Coast' leg Firm race route favourites, Seattle, New York and Derry-Londonderry, have been announced as Host Port Partners for the upcoming edition of the global sailing event along with Bermuda which is making its debut appearance on the circuit Posted on 10 Jul
Clipper Race partners with WTC Logistics & ChartCo
Making their debut as Logistics Partner with a team entry too WTC Logistics, which has offices across the UK, USA and China, is a forward-thinking Import and Export Consolidator and Full-Load Carrier, who operates via air, sea and road. Posted on 29 Jun
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston reveals Clipper crews
Almost 700 adventurers will be taking part in the 2019-20 Race Four hundred crew members pose on the steps of Portsmouth Guildhall, with sailing legend and Clipper Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, after discovering their Skippers and which teams they will be sailing around the world with. Posted on 13 May
Cape Town to host Global Sailing Race
Also Seattle revealed as team entry A trio of announcements have been made by the Clipper Race today regarding its upcoming 2019-20 edition including a new Host Port Partner, as well as a team entry and its Skipper. Posted on 11 May
18 candidates to represent Sanya in Clipper Race
Following a gruelling selection process in China Following a gruelling selection process, 16 candidates including; a graphic designer, CEO, bilingual event host, snowboard instructor student and engineer; two reserves, plus one media crew member, were chosen to form the tag team of ambassadors. Posted on 27 Apr
Falmouth puts on spectacular display for Sir Robin
Recreating the historic moment he returned home 50 years ago A truly impressive flotilla of vessels, including Royal Navy warship HMS Mersey, and over one hundred supporting yachts of all shapes and sizes, joined Sir Robin, and Suhaili in Falmouth Harbour to recreate the historic moment he returned home. Posted on 22 Apr
Praxes to provide medical support for Clipper Race
Clipper Race is continuing its partnership with Praxes Medical Group Praxes will play a crucial behind-the-scenes role as Global Medical Support Partner to the Clipper 2019-20 Race setting sail this summer. Drawing on 22 years of experience in providing bespoke medical support and immediate access to its team of doctors. Posted on 16 Apr
Clipper Race circumnavigators return to paradise
Two Brits competing in the Round Hainan Regatta Having enjoyed everything that Sanya had to offer during the Clipper Race stopover, Mike was especially looking forward to calling into the tropical resort whilst racing on Wan Ming Tang Bravery Honor Team in the race that start and finishes in Haikou. Posted on 29 Mar
Ambassadors chosen to represent the city of Zhuhai
18 brave adventurers chosen after a tough three day selection process The candidates, who went through a tough three day selection process, hosted by the Zhuhai Jiuzhou Holdings Group and a delegation from the Clipper Race, will become Zhuhai Ambassadors in the upcoming edition. Posted on 16 Mar