World-first nautical nuptials at Coral Sea Marina
THE chance to sail around the world is rare, but a Victorian couple made the experience even more unique by becoming the first couple to tie the knot on board.
Hans Richter couldn't wait until his now-wife Jacqui Webb finished the circumnavigation to marry her, so the pair tied the knot on board the Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam yacht in Coral Sea Marina yesterday.
The ceremony was officiated by the skipper of the boat Josh Stickland.
The crew of Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam attended the ceremony, which was made even sweeter by the team's line honours win in the recent Freemantle to Airlie Beach leg of the race.
Mrs Webb, who signed up to compete in all eight legs of the circumnavigation, said the Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam team were like family to her.
"Today was the most amazing day, today we tied the knot and married each other in the Celtic tradition in so far as we tied the knot and made a bond for life," she said.
"I have an amazing team that I'm part of and it is a family, and today they were here with us to witness this.
"They've taken in Hans as my man, they've even got a special name for him - he's 'the dude'."
Mrs Webb set off on the race last year and said she had not seen her now-husband in nearly six months.
"When I docked in Freemantle, it was the first time I'd seen Hans since July," she said.
"My eldest son was there as well, and Hans asked my son for permission to marry me."
The ceremony was not planned, but Mr Richter said there was no time like the present to tie the knot.
"We didn't know when it was going to happen, we didn't know until today (Sunday) that we would get married," he said.
Mrs Webb bought a dress for the ceremony from Pearl Boutique in Airlie Beach, a stark contrast to the race gear she has donned since August.
The couple met just over a year ago during the Salvation Army Toy Run after Mrs Webb had already signed up to the race.
Mr Richter said that despite the distance, he was proud of his wife and looked forward to meeting her at the London finish line in August.
"When you love somebody and realise this is the person that you love, you support her through what she wants to do and you're willing to wait," he said.
The couple said they would honeymoon and visit Mr Webb's family in Germany at the end of the race.