Clipper Race start port announced
The Humber will be the fourth UK venue to host the start of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The first Clipper Race started in Plymouth in 1996 and 1998 before moving to Portsmouth for the start of the 2000 race. In 2002 the event took up residence in Liverpool for three editions to tie in with the city’s bid and subsequent celebrations as European Capital of Culture.
Hull & Humber achieved their fourth consecutive victory of the series overnight, finishing just 57 seconds ahead of New York into Port Antonio, Jamaica. As the fleet of 68ft yachts are about to embark on their final leg ahead of the race finish in Liverpool on July 5, plans are now well underway for the next edition of this highly-successful event.
In the build up to the start of Clipper 09-10, the fleet will be based in Hull, which forms the UK’s largest port complex with its Humber counterparts in Goole, Grimsby and Immingham. High-profile events for international delegations visiting the region around the start and finish of Clipper 09-10 are already being explored by Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency taking the Clipper Race to the Humber.
Clipper Chairman and legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said he had been impressed with Hull & Humber’s campaign in Clipper 07-08 and the events that Yorkshire Forward hosted for the fleet in the region ahead of the race start last year. Hull & Humber, skippered by Danny Watson, is currently leading overall after nine of the 14 races that make up the ten-month series.
Sir Robin said: “Hull & Humber hosted the Clipper fleet last summer for a warm-up race from Rotterdam to Hull for the Wilberforce Challenge Cup. It was a marvellous weekend and the combination of facilities and hospitality was first-class.
“During the current race Yorkshire Forward has really shown the world how to make their entry [ Hull & Humber] work to their advantage. They’ve organised trade missions, conferences and a wide range of events in ports of call to promote the region and their businesses. They have achieved significant media exposure, getting their message in front of hundreds of millions of people.”
Clipper 07-08 is set to deliver global media value of over US$56 million for its sponsors and significant economic benefits for each of the ports that host the fleet during the ten-month circumnavigation.
In response to today’s announcement at Trinity House in London, Terry Hodgkinson, Chairman of Yorkshire Forward, said: “This is excellent news for Hull & Humber and the Yorkshire region. It is a wonderful way to promote our region even further by putting it on the global map and attracting tangible trade and tourism to the area for the start and finish of this prestigious event.”
World-renowned British yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur, who spent the early days of her career sailing in the Humber said: “This is fantastic news for Hull & Humber. Not only have they been showing great form in their debut performance in Clipper 07-08, but to host the start and finish in 2009-10 is great for the area. I was based in Hull for over a year teaching at the David King Nautical School which was a great experience and I spent many hours just watching all the comings and goings on the Humber. I have many good memories of my time there and it is great to hear that the region is now involved in the sport of sailing at this level. The Ellen MacArthur Trust recognises that the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is now the leading global event for non-professional sailors, which is why we selected it for Dan Monk who took part in the race as an ambassador for the Trust with our full support.”
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the premier event of its kind offering people from all walks of life the opportunity to race state-of-the-art yachts around the globe. Crew already signed up for Clipper 09-10 include a physiotherapist, a horticulturalist and a surgeon, in addition to company directors, teachers and lawyers.
Sir Robin said: “Plans are now well underway for Clipper 09-10, with our search for high-calibre skippers in full swing along with an international crew recruitment drive to find the 400 people that will take on the challenge of a lifetime next year. When they line up on the start line in the Humber in 2009, I have no doubt they will be given a spectacular send off at the beginning of their 35,000-mile adventure.”
Responding to today’s announcement Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss record-breaking solo sailor, who skippered Ariel to victory in the 1998 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race said: “The Clipper Race is an amazing event and it is great to see it going from strength to strength. It’s now the world’s premier race of its class and the only one that gives non-professional sailors the chance to race around the globe; it is an experience that changes lives. I know, skippering one of the Clipper yachts in 1998/9 proved to be a major stepping stone for me, and gave me the experience I needed to embark on my solo career. What’s more, it was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life.’
Crew places on Clipper 09-10 are now available. No previous experience is required as full training is provided. People can sign up for anything from one of the seven legs to the whole circumnavigation. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org