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Issue Date:- 28January 2008

Marina at Keppel Bay, Singapore
Photograph and report with thanks to Clipper Ventures Plc.

Liverpool 08 second across start line for Clipper 07-08 Race 6 to Qingdao

THE number two is proving to be a magic number for the crew of the Liverpool-backed entry in Clipper 07-08. With three second places to their name already, the crew of Liverpool 08 were second across the start line when Race 6 of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race got underway at 0610 GMT (1410 local time) on Sunday, 27 January 2008, after a spectacular send-off from the new Marina at Keppel Bay, Singapore.

The ten internationally backed yachts motored to the start line off Nongsa Point, Batam, Indonesia, where Race 5 from Fremantle finished prior to the fleet’s choreographed arrival in Singapore on 19 January 2008 to coincide with the opening of the new marina.

In the sweltering heat and just with 5 to 8 knots of breeze from the east, the ten crews struggled to maintain some boat speed at the start of this 2,600 mile race north to Qingdao, China, the venue for the sailing events of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Less than a minute after the start, the heavens opened and the crews were afforded some temporary relief in the form of a tropical downpour.

The start of Race 6 will prove challenging for the teams as they race in the restricted waters of the Singapore Straits. With one of the world’s busiest shipping channels penning them into a tight area, they are being forced to tack in light airs to make it to the first mark, Middle Rock, which lies approximately 30 miles east of Singapore.

Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper was first across the start line with Liverpool 08, Qingdao and Nova Scotia close behind. Jamaica was fifth across the line, followed by New York, Hull & Humber and Durban 2010 and Beyond. Despite a good approach to the line, Uniquely Singapore was pushed out at the north end and had to tack to re-approach the start line, finally crossing in tenth place.

Although their three second places so far have put them third overall, just one and a half points behind the leader, Durban 2010 and Beyond, the crew of Liverpool 08 are still pushing for the top spot on the podium.

Preparing for the departure from Singapore, Liverpool 08 skipper Ben Galloway said:- “We’re going to be working as hard as we always work. We’ve had a talk and decided what we’re going to do. We’re going to give it that extra ten, 15, 20 per cent, whatever we need. We’re going for the yellow pennant and giving it everything we’ve got. It’s going to be hard beating upwind – it’s kind of where we suffered on the last leg. We’ve talked about where we went wrong, how we could do better and hopefully improve on that and get a better result.”

The ten entries in world’s largest round the world yacht race fleet departed from the newly-opened Marina at Keppel Bay in spectacular fashion after a crew breakfast and colourful farewell ceremony attended by Clipper Ventures Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Keppel Corporation Executive Chairman Lim Chee Onn, Keppel Corporation Group Finance Director Teo Soon Hoe and Ambassador Tony Siddique.

A pride of lions took to the pontoons to bid farewell to the teams, presenting each of the ten skippers with a specially-commissioned scroll wishing them - yi fan feng shun, peng cheng wan li – smooth sailing and a bright future ahead. Representatives from Uniquely Singapore then presented a basket of mandarins representing good fortune and prosperity to each of the crews in anticipation of the Chinese New Year which the crews will celebrate out at sea en route to China.

Chairman and founder of the Clipper Race, legendary solo sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said:- “Departure is always bitter sweet. For the crews there is the excitement of setting out on the next stage of their odyssey but at the same time apprehension and a little bit of sadness for family and friends waving them off. We have watched these crews transform into experienced sailors over the past months just as we have seen this magnificent marina at Keppel Bay develop over the two years since the Clipper Fleet was last here two years ago. We always enjoy being in Singapore and enjoy the friendship we have developed with Keppel, who have laid on the most amazing reception here in Singapore.”

The ten 68-foot ocean racing yachts have been berthed at the new S$30 million yacht haven owned by Uniquely Singapore
sponsor, Keppel Corporation Limited.

“The Clipper 07-08 Race stopover at Marina at Keppel Bay has not only added colour and excitement to this vibrant southern waterfront hub; it has also generated goodwill for the local sailing fraternity and raised public interest in the sport.

In the last nine days, we have seen families, friends and fans of crewmembers from all across the world rally to cheer on the Clipper fleet.   We are confident that in concert with the slew of exciting waterfront developments and activities at Keppel Bay, Sentosa and the surroundings, Marina at Keppel Bay is set to draw even more......" ....Report continued....

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....Report continued....   " yachts, boaters and visitors to Singapore.” said Mr Lim Chee Onn, Executive Chairman of Keppel Corporation.

A busy programme of in-port activity has included an onboard cook-off featuring three celebrity Scottish chefs, a royal visit from HRH Prince Michael of Kent, visits from local schools, recruitment presentations and a range of networking events organised by the international sponsor cities including Glasgow and Hull & Humber.

During the nine-day stopover, crews have also taken time out from boat maintenance to enjoy the bustling and diverse city ahead of today’s race re-start. Uniquely Singapore race partner, the Singapore Tourism Board, organised a bespoke full-day tour for the crews during the stopover giving them an insider’s view of the bustling city.

Winnie Pua, Director, Brand Management, Singapore Tourism Board said:- “We are delighted to have played host to the crew members of Clipper 07-08. Many of them have had the chance to experience Singapore, some for the first time, where they tried on ethnic costumes, pulled the tarik and even sampled durians in a special tour organised for them. We are pleased to hear that they enjoyed the tour immensely and will bring home many unique personal experiences. We are especially proud of the Uniquely Singapore crew and thank them for inspiring us with their can-do spirit. Singapore will cheer them on through the remaining legs of the race. We wish them all smooth sailing ahead.”

The crews now face a 2,600 mile race north to Qingdao, the host of the sailing events in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where the fleet will be berthed at the Olympic Sailing Marina. The first boats are expected to finish on 15 February 2008.

With just two points separating the top four boats, the pressure is on at the top of the Clipper 07-08 leader board. Durban 2010 and Beyond is currently leading overall with 33 points but the trio of British boats, Hull & Humber, Liverpool 08 and Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper will all be fighting to close the two-point margin to knock the South Africans off the top spot.


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