Hundreds of Clipper Race crew allocated to International Teams

Published on April 25th, 2015

(April 25, 2015) – Hundreds of amateur sailors assembled in Portsmouth Guildhall to discover which team and professional skipper they will be sailing with later this year in the world’s longest ocean race. They will be competing in the tenth edition of the biennial Clipper Round the World Yacht Race which departs from London on August 30.

Clipper Race crew, who will spend up to eleven months traversing the world’s most challenging oceans, came to Portsmouth from all over the world, including North America, China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico and across Europe, together with a strong contingent from across the UK.

The twelve teams were addressed by legendary yachtsman, Clipper Race founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, with encouraging words about the challenge and adventure that lies ahead. He commented afterwards: “This is where final preparations for the race of their lives begins. Most of the crew have almost completed their training but now they can start to develop their strategies and dynamics as a team.”

The global appeal of the Clipper Race continues to grow, with crew joining the 2015-16 edition from Lebanon, Latvia and Colombia for the first time. Lebanese crew member Moussa Tawil flew into the UK via Doha and Istanbul to find out who he would be sharing his round-the-world adventure with: “I’m super excited about the whole thing. Today is quite significant as I’m sharing thoughts on tactics and finding out more about what role I’d like to play on board.

“I see this as an opportunity to test myself and think I’ll manage well. I’d like to be part of a really fun crew. When I first signed up I didn’t think much about winning, but the training has made me think more about what needs to be done to win this race.”

The Clipper Race is a unique event; it is the only ocean race to give amateur sailors the opportunity to sail around the world and at 40,000 miles it’s the longest around the planet. Many are complete novices before embarking on their extensive training and over 600 international crew will sail one or more of eight legs around the world, with around a quarter achieving the ultimate sailing experience of a full circumnavigation.

Sir Robin added: “It is important to remember that Mother Nature does not make allowances and the more the crew learn about seamanship, the safer they will be and the more they will enjoy the adventure. Over the next year they will all gain more experience and mileage in their log books than the average sailor gets in years. It will be fantastic at times, frustrating at others, but overall it will be a life fulfilling experience they will never forget.”

For the first time there will be two female skippers in the race, Wendy Tuck from Australia and Diane Reid from Canada. There will also be the first French skipper, Olivier Cardin and the first Ukrainian-German skipper, Igor Gotlibovych. At 27 years old, Igor is the youngest of this edition’s skippers and his team will represent the Chinese Olympic sailing city of Qingdao.

Igor says: “I feel very proud to be representing Qingdao. I was born in Ukraine, grew up in Germany and have lived in England for the last eight years, so there are many places that I can call home and now I can add Qingdao to that list.

“I am thrilled to finally be allocated my crew. I have met some of them during their Clipper Race training but of course we did not know we would be racing around the world together in the same team. We are a cosmopolitan bunch with people from all over the world who are very excited to get to know each other and to building on Qingdao’s legacy in competitive sailing.”

The crew come from vastly different backgrounds and professions but all have a thirst for adventure. The Clipper Race is regarded as one of the hardest endurance challenges on the ocean and races between six continents over eleven months. The organizers provide twelve identically matched 70-foot yachts, that made their debut to the race in 2013, and each team is allocated to avoid any one crew having an unfair advantage.

It is ultimately down to how each team develops and how well they sail that will ultimately determine the winner of the Clipper Race Trophy with maximum points at the end of the race. Each team will represent a destination, organization or brand.

Followers of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race can look forward to some exciting and exhilarating racing. The departure ceremony takes place in London on Sunday, August 30.

Event Website

Report by Event Media

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 nautical miles long 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 program 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 ascending 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 countries took part, and over 3,000 novice sailors have been transformed into ocean racers throughout Clipper Race history so far. The next race starts in August 2015 and will be the event’s tenth edition

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