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Kilwell - September

Clipper Round the World Race - Race Director reflects on final stages

by Clipper Ventures on 15 Jul 2014
Henri Lloyd leads Clipper Race teams by Tower Bridge Clipper Ventures
It was an amazing finish to the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race which saw thousands of spectators line the River Thames, eager to catch a glimpse of the inspirational crew who returned to London, 11 months after setting off on the 40,000-mile challenge.

Race Director, Justin Taylor, takes a look back at the final stages of Race 16 and explains how the shortest race in the 16 global series would also go onto become one of the most important for OneDLL and Derry~Londonderry~Doire.


While weather reports the week in the lead up to Race 16 predicted 12 knots of wind for the start of the 250 mile race from Den Helder, to London, the wind was also expected to decrease from the north as the fleet crossed the North Sea. However, Race Director Justin Taylor, explains what actually happened:

'What actually happened was that the breeze increased during this period resulting in the fleet making terrific time.

'At one stage with the tide under them off the coast of Norfolk they were recording speeds of 14 knots. It therefore became necessary to add a mark to the course and I sent them back north for 22 miles which actually increased the length of the race by 44 miles.'

In early stages of Race 16, Derry~Londonderry~Doire was leading, leaving their closest rivals OneDLL at the back of the fleet - at this stage the Northern Irish entry had enough scope to claim third place overall. However, OneDLL made a spectacular recovery to win third in Race 16, securing the final podium position of the Clipper 2013-14 Race.

Now the confetti and celebrations have begun to subside, the Clipper Race Director looks back over the past 11 months as the record breaking Clipper 70 fleet prepares to return to Endeavour Quay in Gosport this week after completing its first circumnavigation.


'The ninth edition of the race has seen ordinary people achieve something extraordinary. The crew aboard the new fleet of Clipper 70s have faced every challenge imaginable from the frustrating Doldrums on Race 2 to 100 knot winds in the Southern Ocean. They and the yachts have weathered these challenges superbly and I only have pride and admiration for the skippers, crews and the Clipper Race staff who behind the scenes help make this magnificent race a reality. I have seen a few homecomings but this was certainly the biggest and most emotional - so far!'

For those crew who joined the elite group of circumnavigators on Saturday, it was an emotional time as they prepared to leave their team after conquering some of Mother Nature’s greatest trials. Round the world crew member on board, GREAT Britain, Ionie Robinson reflected on her incredible achievement.

'In this epic adventure we have taken on new roles and tasks that were, in the beginning, out of our comfort zone but now part of our daily routine. From engineer to navigator, to slaving over a hot stove in the galley. From bowman to helming in rough seas, we have embraced, endured and evolved. Team mates have come and gone along the way, some have to be forgotten, other to be remembered. But it’s the deep and meaningful friendship we have developed as 'round the world crew members' that will remain with us forever. This adventure has been long and hard - so very long. This adventure has been GREAT!'

Throughout this week our recruitment team will be in London in search of the next intrepid explorers eager to take part in the tenth anniversary edition - the 2015-16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Our Recruitment Dome will be St Katharine’s Dock from Tuesday - Sunday 20 July from 10-6pm throughout this week.

Crew Recruitment Manager, David Cusworth will also be giving a presentation at the Little Ship Club on Saturday 18 July from 10-12pm. To reserve your spot please email Vikki Gillard at vgillard@clipper-ventures.com


The GREAT Britain boat will remain in London at St Katharine’s Docks, centre basin until Sunday 20 July, where open boat tours will be running throughout the week. If you’re interested in seeing what life on-board a Clipper 70 is like, times for the tours are included below:

Tuesday - 11:00am - 1pm, 4pm - 6pm
Wednesday - 11am - 6pm
Thursday - 12pm-1pm, 3pm - 6pm
Friday - 1pm - 6pm
Saturday - 11am - 6pm
Sunday - 11am - 6pm

Thank you for following the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race so closely. While this is the final Daily Update for this race we’ll be back for the 2015-16 Clipper Round the World

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