The international Clipper Race fleet will once again compete in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (RSHYR) bringing sailors from 26 different nations.
Legendary British sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (76), the founder of the world’s longest ocean race and the first man to sail solo, nonstop round the world in 1968/9, will also race on one of two Clipper 68 Events yachts taking part.
The 14-strong fleet will compete in the Australian offshore classic for the second time as part of its 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation, and will once again have its own Clipper Race class. The whole Clipper Race will cross the notorious Bass Strait three times, on the way to Sydney, the RSHYR and then its final Australian race back north to Airlie Beach, before continuing on its global circumnavigation
The fleet started arriving in Sydney in mid-December on the All-Australian Leg, half-way in its global race series having departed London on 30 August.
Sir Robin said: “There is a real buzz amongst our Clipper Race crew about racing with the world’s best sailors again in one of the most famous offshore races. The crew will have sailed half way round the world in order to participate, and will be excited to pit themselves against the best competitors in the sport.
“The event was one of the highlights of the entire circumnavigation when we first competed in 2013, and we are very excited to be coming back to compete again.”
Amongst the competitors will be Sydney Skipper Wendy Tuck, the first Australian female Skipper in the history of the Clipper Race, who is leading the Da Nang – Viet Nam entry and will compete in her ninth RSHYR. Additionally 50 Australian amateur crew are competing in the circumnavigation from across various states.
Ross Ham is an Australian crew member who is racing round the world again on board Garmin this time, having completed the Clipper 2013-14 Race. The former Australian sailing champion from Brisbane said: “I am really looking forward to racing in the RSHYR again. You are able to keep a level of intensity there, and using the specialist helms we should be able to provide a cracking level of competition.
“I am a dog with two tails, and both of them are wagging as I circumnavigate again and get to compete in such classics as the RSHYR as part of that.”
On announcing the fleet is officially entered, CYCA Commodore, John Cameron added: “This year the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is shaping up to be a spectacular - our 71st race will be an event to watch - from the super maxis vying for the fastest time to the bulk of the fleet battling it out for the prized Tattersall’s Cup, awarded to the overall winner.
“Added to the mix we have, for the second time, the Clipper Race yachts. They will bring an additional 14 boats to our race, with the added character that only Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and his yachts and crews can add as part of their round the world Race, and we look forward to welcoming them back,” he ended.
For more information on the Clipper 2015-16 Race, please see: www.clipperroundtheworld.com
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the world’s longest ocean adventure and is also regarded as one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. At 40,000 miles and taking almost a year to complete, it consists of twelve teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.
The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors.
Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure. This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to taxi drivers, nurses and firemen, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date was 74.
Whether they choose to take on the whole circumnavigation or compete in one or more of eight individual legs, all our crew achieve something remarkable as they conquer some of the world’s most challenging oceans.
The overall route is split into a series of global races and a maximum 12 points going to first place descending to 1 point for twelfth place.
The team with the highest cumulative points at the end of the final race wins the series, and the Clipper Race trophy.
In the 2013-14 edition of this biennial challenge, 670 people from more than 40 different nationalities took part, and over 3,300 novice sailors have been transformed into ocean racers throughout Clipper Race history so far.
The race departed from St Katharine Docks, London on 30 August 2015.
To mark this tenth edition of the race, the Clipper Race is proud to support Unicef as our Official Race Charity. Unicef operates in 190 countries around the world, including every country on the Clipper Race route, and ensures more of the world’s children are fed, vaccinated, educated and protected than any other organisation.