Countdown to Liverpool: Race start
WITH just under 50 days remaining until
the start of one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet, further
details for the week of festivities and timings for the highly anticipated
Clipper 2017-18 Race Start, taking place, on 20 August 2017, in Liverpool have been
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 1st 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."
On 20 August 2017, the Race Start will begin with a Slipping Lines ceremony, at
9:15am GMT, in
the City's world famous UNESCO waterfront, Albert Dock, before all 12 yachts
and their courageous UK and international crew form a spectacular parade of sail,
on the River Mersey, from 11:15am to 12:00am.
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 and very
close to the action.
This unique challenge is the only event which trains everyday people to become
ocean racers, and final planning is underway as it prepares to return to
Liverpool for the 1st 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.
Council lor 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."
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
former European Capital of Culture also aims to promote its cultural and
sporting heritage on the world stage to position the City as the home of large
scale events that are accessible for all.
There will be plenty of chance for members of the public to get up close and
personal with the race before its departure as the fleet is due to arrive in the
City 6 days earlier, on Monday, 14 August 2017. The arrival will coincide with the
official opening of the Clipper Race Village, at 1000 that same day, with a
white sail parade of the fleet on the Mersey, followed by an official Civic
For the duration of the week, there will be a series of public events and
activities scheduled at the Clipper Race Village to include:- 'About the
Clipper Race' free public talks and the opportunity to look around one of the Clipper
70 foot ocean racing yachts.
Some 712 Clipper Race crew members will represent over 40 different
nationalities during the circumnavigation, however some crew members will be
starting the Clipper Race much closer to home.
Paul Almond, who grew up in Formby, near Liverpool, will be taking part in the
1st ½ of the race, taking him from his home City to the Whitsundays in
Australia, via:- Urguguay, Cape Town, Fremantle, Sydney, and Hobart, meaning he
will cross the North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Southern Oceans.
Paul says:- "When I was 11, I learned to sail Laser and Enterprise
dinghies on the very safe and enclosed Southport Marina. I also have fond
memories of spending many Friday nights, as a teenager going to Liverpool Empire
to watch my favourite bands and I had fun busking on Lord Street with a guitar
and poor vocals!
For Paul, starting in Liverpool and visiting Sydney, where he also lived for
7 years will be particularly special:- "We are departing from Liverpool, 1
of the greatest historical Cities in the world and sailing to my other most
favourite City; Sydney. My dream of doing the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race will
finally come true."
Having recently completed his final stage of compulsory Clipper Race training,
Paul adds:- "I have a lot to do in the next 50 days to prepare myself;
more fitness training as well as preparing my head to ready myself for the
challenging living conditions I expect to have on the yacht. This will be a far
cry from Laser sailing on safe Southport Marina!"
Crew can complete the full circumnavigation, or one or more of its 8
challenging legs and approximately 40% of crew have no previous sailing
experience before they start their intensive race training programme.
The Clipper 2017-18 Race, the biennial event's eleventh edition, will visit 6
continents on its global route. After leaving Albert Dock crew will race over
3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean to the 1st 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.