With just under 50 days remaining until the Clipper 2017-18 Race start on 20 August, further details have been unveiled for the festivities in Liverpool.
Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: ‘For the majority of Clipper Race crew members, who have come from many different walks of life, the Clipper Race journey began a year ago or more when they first applied to take part so with less than 50 days to do before the race start, you can really sense the excitement building amongst everyone.
‘Liverpool is an incredibly proud and vibrant community and we have had fantastic experiences here in the past which is why we were so keen to return. There will be plenty to see and do so we hope to everyone join us once again and help make this another truly memorable event for the city, and our crew and supporters.’
The 20 August race start will begin with a slipping lines ceremony at 0915 in the city’s world-famous UNESCO waterfront Albert Dock before all 12 yachts and their UK and international crew form a parade of sail on the River Mersey from 1115 to 1200.
At 1230, the Clipper 2017-18 Race start gun will mark the beginning of the circumnavigation which, subject to change pending approval, will start with a short course on the River Mersey, a chance for spectators to get up close to the action.
The event will mark the return to Liverpool for the first time in a decade. Having grown enormously in number of participants, yacht entries, economic influence and media value since its last visit, race organisers are looking forward to putting on an even bigger show than ever before.
Councillor Wendy Simon, assistant Mayor of Liverpool, said: ‘We can’t wait to welcome back the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to Liverpool. The day all the yachts arrive in the Albert Dock makes for a stunning sight and will really ramp up the anticipation for the start.
‘The city has a very close affection for this event and we have wonderful memories from when we’ve been fortunate to host it in the past. All crew and supporters can expect a warm welcome and a magnificent send off as our beautiful waterfront is tailor made for spectacular maritime moments such as these.’
670 crew members from 42 different countries took part in the 11-month race around the world
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Liverpool, which is bidding to be the UK candidate city to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, will utilise the race’s global platform to raise its international profile and maritime legacy. The city hopes to inspire a new generation of sailors and seafaring enthusiasts in the historic port city.
The fleet is due to arrive in the city on Monday 14 August. There will be an official opening of the Clipper Race Village and a white sail parade of the fleet on the Mersey, followed by an official Civic Welcome ceremony.
A week-long series of public events and activities at the Clipper Race Village will include free public talks and the opportunity to look around one of the Clipper 70-foot ocean racing yachts.
Crew can complete the full circumnavigation, or one or more of its eight challenging legs and approximately 40% of crew have no previous sailing experience before they start their race-training programme.
The Clipper 2017-18 Race, the biennial event’s 11th edition, will visit six continents.
After leaving Albert Dock crew will race over 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean to the first stopover port, Ponte del Este, Uruguay. From there the fleet will continue on to Cape Town, Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart, the Whitsundays, Sanya and Qingdao in China, Seattle, Panama, New York, and Derry-Londonderry, before completing the circumnavigation in Liverpool on 28 July, 2018.