Some 45 years since he embarked on his record breaking attempt to become the first man to sail solo non-stop around the world, legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston will reveal the latest phase in the development of his famous Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in London today (Friday).
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston onboard one of the new Clipper 70 fleet of yachts in St Katherine’s Dock London
He is at St Katharine Docks near Tower Bridge to unveil the Clipper 70, the first of a new fleet of global racing yachts which will allow hundreds of ordinary people to participate in an extraordinary adventure: circumnavigating the planet in the world’s longest ocean race.
In 1995 Sir Robin launched the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race with the vision of enabling ordinary people from all walks of life to experience ocean racing, with the option to either complete a full circumnavigation or to compete in one or more legs. Today the Clipper Race remains the only global ocean race open to amateur participants.
Successive new fleets have helped to develop the experience of the crew and the capacity of the race, while millions of people across the globe follow its progress throughout the year-long series of 15 races that comprise the 40,000-mile challenge for the Clipper Race Trophy.
20130111 Copyright onEdition 2013© Free for editorial use image, please credit: onEdition Sir Robin Knox-Johnston onboard one of the new Clipper 70 fleet of yachts in St Katherine's Dock London If you require a higher resolution image or you have any other onEdition photographic enquiries, please contact onEdition on 0845 900 2 900 or email info@onEdition.com This image is copyright the onEdition 2013©. This image has been supplied by onEdition and must be credited onEdition. The author is as
The new fleet of twelve Clipper 70s will be the world’s biggest matched fleet of large ocean racers allowing over 600 crew to take on the remarkable challenge of sailing the world’s oceans under the guidance of professional skippers; and the introduction of a new bigger, faster, state-of-the-art design fleet is already creating great anticipation for the ninth edition of the Clipper Race that will start in August this year.
'Sailing has given me a great deal of pleasure and I wanted to make it available to people from all walks of life who did not have the confidence or resources to go on a long voyage,' said Sir Robin.
'We provide the boats, the training and all the race support and management. The crew add a sense of adventure and a competitive spirit. The combination creates the world’s most famous race for amateur sailors.
'We’ve learned a great deal over the last 17 years which is reflected in the extensively developed and highly refined product we offer today. The launch of the Clipper 70 marks another exciting step in that development and will allow even more people to take part in the challenge of a lifetime,' he added.
The arrival of the new fleet marks another leap forward in the growth of the phenomenally successful Clipper Race. Having originally commissioned a fleet of eight 60-foot yachts in 1996, the concept proved so successful that in 2005 a new fleet of ten Clipper 68s came into service, clocking up four circumnavigations.
The introduction of the Clipper 70 means even more people will have the chance to take on the challenge and achieve something remarkable.
The first of the Clipper 70s will be at St Katharine Docks in London from today (Friday) until Sunday 20 January and is open to the public who want to get a taste of how Clipper Race crew will be living during their year-long adventure. Clipper Race staff will be on hand to answer questions about the new yacht, the Clipper Race and how to take part.
'We’ve got an exciting week planned to kick off an exciting few years ahead for everyone involved in the Clipper Race,' adds Sir Robin.
'This week will allow crew, sponsors and suppliers the chance to explore our new ocean racer as well as showcasing the yacht to a wider audience and I’d encourage all types of adventurous souls to come take a look.'
Clipper Round the World