about the race
40,000 miles of ocean racing and around 450 people facing the challenge of a lifetime. When the starting gun goes off for the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race, the fleet of ten sleek, stripped down 68-foot yachts will embark on a full circumnavigation of the globe.
It’s not easy and only those with a firm desire to live life to the full apply. They come from all walks of life, all backgrounds and from all corners of the globe. It’s the only race in the world where the organisers supply the fleet of ten identical, 68-foot, stripped down racing yachts – each sponsored by a city, a region or a country – and man them with ten fully trained skippers, employed to lead the crews safely around the planet.
It’s the only race in the world where taxi drivers rub shoulders with chief executives, vicars mix with housewives, students work alongside bankers, nurses work with vets and doctors team up with rugby players. It’s an experience that will change people’s lives and while the crew members may be amateur, no one has told the ocean that. The sea does not distinguish between Olympians or novices and if the Southern Ocean, the Pacific or the South Atlantic decides to throw down its gauntlet, the Clipper crews need to be ready to face exactly the same challenges as those experienced by the professional racer.
The race track is 40,000 miles long and it will take eleven months to complete the circumnavigation. The race is divided in to a series of eight legs and crews can decide to race one of them, select a combination of legs or sign up to become a round the world crew member and complete the full circumnavigation. There are 15 individual races in total and, just like in Formula 1, points are awarded at the end of each race, building towards a championship total. It means that you can put a poor result behind you and head to the start of the next race with the possibility of gaining maximum points as you lead the field in.
The race route is firmly in place but details regarding many of the destination ports are still under negotiation. The adventure will start from the UK around August 2013 and cross the Atlantic Ocean, the South Atlantic, the Southern Ocean, the Java and South China Seas plus the mighty Pacific. It will deliver two of the three great capes – Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin – and visit New Zealand for the first time in Clipper’s history.
With all boats identical and budgets equal, no one has a head start. It’s the ultimate long distance match race and the winners are those who keep their focus the longest. It’s a unique opportunity to experience a rare freedom and only the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race makes it possible. Do you dare meet the challenge?
(text and some images from the Clipper 11-12 Round The World Yacht Race site – www.clipperroundtheworld.com)