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Clipper was started by Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, the first person to sail non-stop around the world, and gives people from every walk of life the chance to experience what it’s like to take on the challenges of the open sea. A fleet of eleven identical racing yachts are owned by Clipper Ventures PLC and used for the challenge. Each yacht is captained by an appropriately qualified skipper who is assisted by a first mate, both of whom give instruction and guidance to the crew. The race takes the yachts through a 40,000 nautical mile journey, divided into eight legs with between thirteen and sixteen races. The course follows the prevailing currents and winds.
The 2019 race started on the 1st September from St Katharine’s Dock on The Thames. The yachts undertook a ‘Parade of Sail’ making their way to the Thames estuary and the start of the first leg. Watching the 11 yachts set off through central London is always a wonderful sight. It’s amazing how many friends, family and supporters turn up for each participant, which despite the crowds of thousands, lend a particular atmosphere to the event. We always have a fleet of Ribs on duty for the departure. Eight of our Ribs are coded by the Port of London Authority enabling us to act in close support. Whilst some Ribs are booked by Clipper Ventures themselves for the press, other Ribs are chartered by family and supporters to follow the parade of sail and wave farewell.
The race takes teams across eight legs stopping off at several destinations along the way, including; South America, South Africa, Australia, China, North America, and the Philippines. If you’re interested in tracking the yachts on their journey, then visit Clipper Around the World and download their race tracker app to follow their progress.
Sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Clipper boats where docked for the last time in the Philippines with crew members flown home. The latest we have heard is that the race will continue in February 2021, once we have date confirmations we will update.
Solent Rib Charter have a particularly close association with Clipper Ventures, having worked with them for a number of years. We were very proud to provide a ‘guard of honour’ up the Solent to Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth for Sir Robin Knox-Johnston when he returned from his solo circumnavigation in 2007 at the age of 68 in the Velux 5 Ocean Race.
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Do you have an event in mind? Send us your details using the form below or have a quick chat with one of our experts on 01590 607101.