The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has today announced it will return to Fremantle, Western Australia, during the eleventh edition of the world’s biggest round-the-world ocean race.
The 40,000 nautical mile Clipper 2017-18 Race will arrive in Fremantle between the 21 and 25 of November, 2017, after the Southern Ocean Leg from Cape Town, and its international crew and fleet of twelve 70ft ocean racing vessels will berth at the Fremantle Sailing Club.
Legendary yachtsman and Clipper Race Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968-69, said: “I have fond memories of our previous visits to Fremantle and I am very pleased it will once again be a stopover destination for the Clipper Race.
“Our crew are sure to enjoy the famed Western Australian hospitality and natural beauty of the area, as well as the superb sailing conditions. The journey from Cape Town will be tough, the Southern Ocean always has some of the most testing conditions of the circumnavigation, so Fremantle will be a welcome sight for the fleet.”
Fremantle was the first ever Australian stopover port in the history of the Clipper Race in 2005, and also featured in the 2007-08 race edition. Since the last visit, the Clipper Race has grown significantly.
The fleet has increased from eight 60-foot vessels to twelve 70-foot ocean racing yachts, all led by professional skippers. Back then, 310 crew took part in the circumnavigation whilst a combined total of 700 amateur crew, representing over 40 nationalities and from all walks of life, will compete across the eight legs of this eleven-month epic challenge. Among the 2017-18 crew, there will be 49 Australians, including seven who call Western Australia home.
As a Host Port Partner in the 2017-18 edition of the race, the City of Fremantle will be the first taste of Australia for hundreds of Clipper Race crew, from all over the world, with the race to also visit Sydney, Hobart, and a yet to be announced location in Eastern Australia.
Located at the mouth of the Swan River, approximately 25 minutes from Perth, the historic maritime city, bounded by stunning beaches and limestone cliffs, is a major port for Western Australia, for both world-class competition and commercial activity.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt welcomed the news and commented: “The City of Fremantle is delighted to welcome this global event back to our port city, which will be a real treat for all local yachting enthusiasts and beach goers this November.”
Fremantle Sailing Club overlooks the warm and pristine waters of the Indian Ocean and offers world class sailing conditions. Its proud history stretches back to 1885, and as well as hosting the Clipper Race, the Fremantle Sailing Club has showcased its superior hosting capabilities through events such as the Biennial Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally and Perth 2011 ISAF World Sailing Championships.
“As Commodore, it’s a great privilege to welcome the Clipper fleet back to Fremantle Sailing Club this November,” said Bill Burbidge OAM, Commodore, Fremantle Sailing Club.
“Many of us remember fondly the last time the Clipper Race visited Fremantle and we look forward to hosting crews, officials and spectators from all walks of life at our famous yachting venue on the West coast.”
The eleventh edition of the unique biennial Clipper Race, the only event of its kind for non-professional sailors, will visit six continents and include six ocean crossings. Almost 5,000 crew have been turned into seasoned ocean racers during the past twenty years in what is still a rare accomplishment: more people have climbed Mount Everest than have raced around the planet on its oceans under sail.
Crew can complete the full circumnavigation, or one or more of its eight legs, in one of the toughest endurance challenges. It is without doubt the world’s greatest ocean adventure.
The Clipper 2017-18 Race will start in Liverpool on Sunday 20 August, with the global route to include stopovers in South America (port TBC), Cape Town, Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart, East Coast Australia (port TBC), Sanya and Qingdao in China, Seattle, Panama, New York, and Derry Londonderry.
There are still a limited number of places available to attend the upcoming Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Presentation in Perth. Hosted by 2013-14 crew member Helen Cook, the evening will detail the selection process and training required to be a member of Clipper Race Crew, as well as outlining what it takes to take on the race of your life.
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by Morgan Kasmarik