|Warm welcome: Ambassador of Viet Nam to South Africa Le Huy Hoang visits the Da Nang-Viet Nam team during their stopover in Cape Town. — Photo courtesy of Clipper World Race
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (VNS) — The crew of the Da Nang-Viet Nam clipper docked in Cape Town, South Africa to a mid-journey greeting from the Ambassador of Viet Nam to South Africa.
The team is part of the renowned global Clipper Race whose fleet stopped in the coastal city for a layover till the Saturday start of the Southern Ocean leg.
Ambassador Le Huy Hoang visited Skipper Wendy Tuck and her crew on board before taking the crew out for dinner at a local Vietnamese restaurant.
The team shared tales of their adventures with the Ambassador, who said the Vietnamese city's involvement in the Clipper Race was a sign of a brighter future for the country.
"We are so proud to visit the Da Nang-Viet Nam Clipper Race team here in Cape Town. They are bringing a message that Viet Nam welcomes foreign visitors, and we look forward to opening up more-and-more and gaining more friends," the Ambassador said.
"We want to educate people about the new Viet Nam, we are a country of peace. We hope that over time the race will visit different ports in our country so that as many people as possible in Viet Nam will have the opportunity to greet the Clipper Race and all the crews from around the world," he added.
This is the first time Da Nang city has sponsored a team in the Clipper Race and in February the city's port will serve as a stopover for the first time on the 40,000-mile global challenge.
"It means a lot to me and the crew to have His Excellency come and visit us today, and to hear about how the city wants to use the race to educate the world on the new chapter in Viet Nam's history," said Tuck.
She added, "We are all very proud to represent Da Nang-Viet Nam around the world. Da Nang is such a vibrant city and it will mean all the more to us to be sailing into our ‘home port' early next year."
The team sits in sixth place after its 3,400 mile sprint across the South Atlantic Ocean, picking up an extra bonus point for being the third fastest team through the Scoring Gate.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the world's longest ocean adventure and regarded as one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. It will stop off in 14 ports throughout its 11-month circumnavigation.
"The Vietnamese people are very anxious to see the Clipper Race come to our country. I think it will benefit them," Hoang said, explaining his hope that the race brings more international tourist and therefore investment.
The Clipper Race consists of twelve teams competing on the world's largest matched-fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts. It was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69.
The Clipper Race fleet departs next for Albany, Western Australia and will go on to visit Sydney, Hobat and the Whitsundays before racing to Da Nang.
The central city expects the fleet to arrive between February 17 and 21. — VNS