The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, for the first time in its eight-race history, will feature a Swiss-sponsored yacht after Swiss Sailing signed an agreement to become a Team Partner for the 2013-14 edition of the world’s longest ocean race.
The Royal NavyÕs helicopter carrier, HMS Illustrious, and a fleet of hundreds of spectator boats gave a spectacular send off to the amateur crews on board the ten yachts competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race today. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the only global competition where people from all walks of life can step out of their comfort zones and sign up to race 40,000 mil
The entry builds on Switzerland’s strong competitive sailing heritage and, with the Clipper Race reaching a cumulative global media audience of over 1.4 billion people, returns Swiss sponsors to the forefront of global ocean racing.
'Switzerland is a nation of sailors! And we are proud that the first participant to the Clipper Race coming from inland Europe will be a Swiss yacht. It is a unique opportunity to participate in one of the last true adventures', said Vincent Hagin, President of Swiss Sailing. 'I would urge potential partners to support this initiative, be it with sponsorship or money and to use this unique occasion to show the world all that Switzerland has to offer.'
Swiss Sailing was founded in 1939 and counts 146 sailing clubs and 46 boat classes as members to Switzerland’s umbrella organisation for sailing, kite and windsurfing. It is one of the major goals of Swiss Sailing to promote sailing among young people. This year more than 21,000 sailors of all age groups received a regatta license to compete.
Switzerland will be allocated one of the fleet of twelve brand new matched Clipper 70 ocean racing yachts, owned and operated by race operators Clipper Ventures, each of which is sponsored by a destination, business or organisation to carry their name around the world.
Set up by legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the Clipper Race is the only event of its kind for people from all walks of life, regardless of previous sailing experience, offering ordinary people the chance to achieve something extraordinary sailing around the world.
Sir Robin said: 'We are delighted to welcome Swiss Sailing to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race as our latest Team Partner. Switzerland has a rich history of participation in ocean racing and we hope that involvement with the Clipper Race will allow them to further enhance that history and build a new legacy of participation within the sport in Switzerland.
'We hope that people from across Switzerland will get behind the team, support them as they race around the world later this year and even be inspired to take on the challenge of the Clipper Race.'
Switzerland will also carry the logo of Mercy Ships, raising awareness for the hospital ship charity which provides free surgery and medical care. Mercy Ships partners with local communities to improve health care, offering training and advice, materials and hands-on assistance in Africa and around the world.
'As an ocean-going charity, Mercy Ships and our crew of maritime and medical professionals are pleased to be given this opportunity through private sponsors to be uniquely profiled during this amazing race. We look forward to linking with the Clipper Race crew, Swiss Sailing and with Clipper Ventures in various ports of call to see lives touched through the profile raised,' stated Bryce Wagner, Executive Director Mercy Ships Global, based in Lausanne.
There are a limited number of berths remaining for people from Switzerland to compete in the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race. More information can be found on the Clipper Race website here
The Clipper Race will depart London on 1st September and return there the following July after racing more than 40,000 miles around the world visiting 14 ports on six continents.