A competition for 18 to 24-year-olds to win a crew place on the Pacific Ocean leg of the next Clipper Race

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Sir Ben Ainslie have announced a unique opportunity for a young person to experience Mother Nature’s toughest conditions in the world’s longest ocean race.

Speaking today at the PSP Southampton Boat Show, the pair revealed a national contest for 18-24 year olds, regardless of previous sailing experience, to win a crew place for the Pacific Ocean leg on the next edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The prize, worth more than £10,000, has been donated by Clipper Race chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, which Sir Ben Ainslie helped found in memory of his friend and Olympic sailing partner to transform the lives of young people through sailing.

Sir Robin, who was the first man to ever sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968/69, said: ‘I share the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation’s passion for inspiring young people to have life changing experiences through sailing, and I am delighted to be donating this unique adventure.

‘When you take on the Pacific Ocean crossing, you are taking on something very, very special. There is nothing bigger or more awesome on this planet.’

He added: ‘This is something that will test you and push you to limits you didn’t know you had. Very few people have tackled this challenge and now it’s your chance to be one of them.’

Speaking on board one of the Clipper 70 racing yachts, Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation founder and patron, Sir Ben Ainslie said: ‘It is really exciting for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation to be able to provide this opportunity for a young person to compete in such a challenging race.

‘It really will be a once in a lifetime experience for the competition winner.’

Clipper 2015-16 Race

The next Clipper Race, which starts next summer, will be the 10th edition of the world’s longest ocean race.

The only event of its kind in the world for amateur sailors, 40 per cent of crew have never sailed before they sign up.

Starting in China and ending in the West Coast of the USA, Leg 6, the Pacific Ocean crossing, is 5,500 miles long and will take approximately one month to complete.

Crew members will encounter heavy storms and huge waves, as well as the beauty of starry night skies, breath-taking sunsets and rises, as well as the possibility of spotting whales and
other varieties of marine wildlife along the journey.

Anyone in the UK aged 18-24, can be nominated for the prize.

No previous sailing experience is required as full training will be provided. You will just have to provide your reasons for nominating this particular young person to take on the challenge.

To nominate a young person you think would gain from the Clipper Race experience, download the application form and check the terms and conditions at www.andrewsimpsonfoundation.co.uk/news

The closing date for nominations is 14 November. A shortlist of five finalists will be announced on 3 December and both Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Sir Ben Ainslie will be part of the final voting process.

The winner must be available for four weeks of training in Gosport, UK and also the race itself which will take place during March-April 2016.

To learn more about the Clipper Race, go to www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Pictures: Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, chairman of Clipper Race and Sir Ben Ainslie, patron of Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundationon bunk up on a Clipper yacht. Credit: Chris Ison

The Clipper Race Team Garmin in San Francisc. Credit: Clipper Ventures