Clipper to the Mersey
Clipper Ventures Plc has today announced a £200,000 host port deal for its flagship event. The Clipper 2002 round the world race will start from Albert Dock, Liverpool on Sunday, 27 October 2002, returning in September 2003 after some 35,000 miles of racing on the high seas. This is the first time in the event's six-year history that the start will not be on the south coast.
Also new for Clipper 2002 is that international cities have been invited to field entries. To date teams from Liverpool, Bristol, Glasgow and Cape Town have each accepted the eleven-month challenge. Discussions are underway to see which other cities will complete the eight-strong line-up - further announcements are planned within the month.
Commenting on the choice of Liverpool as host port, Councillor Mike Storey, leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "We are delighted to be hosting the start and finish of Clipper 2002. This is a world class sporting event and a major coup for Liverpool and the North West."
The city council is now looking for sponsors to ensure world class celebrations for the race start and finish. The city is also seeking sponsors for three places on board their Liverpool Clipper entry.
Councillor Storey added: "By being the host port we have a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city on a truly global stage and I call on local businesses to join us and make this an event to remember. The fact that the Liverpool Clipper is also racing means we have further opportunities to promote the city and the region as Clipper 2002 visits some of the world's major commercial centres, especially in New York and our twin city of Shanghai.
"We are very pleased to support Clipper 2002 with the obvious benefits such a prestigious event will bring to the city's growing tourism industry and our bid for the European Capital of Culture in 2008. I'm thrilled that we are also able to offer three places aboard Liverpool Clipper for a once in a lifetime experience. This is a fantastic opportunity for local youngsters to ride the ocean waves and follow in the footsteps of their forbears."
"This is excellent news both for Liverpool and Clipper Ventures," said Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures Plc. "The city's participation in Clipper 2002, coupled with today's host port announcement, means that we have a significant deal worth in excess of £500,000 and we look forward to working with Liverpool City Council to secure the necessary corporate sponsors for Liverpool Clipper."
Sir Robin added: "Our fleet and crews generate strong interest wherever they go. But starting Clipper 2002 from Liverpool for the first time is an exciting venture for which we, as Race Organisers, hold great enthusiasm and confidence. Relocating the race start to the North West affords us the opportunity to bring ocean racing to a whole new audience.
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