Female Skipper to lead Visit Seattle entry in next Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Thursday, 18 May 2017


Nicola ‘Nikki’ Henderson, 23, from Guilford, UK, has today been named as the Skipper who will lead the Visit Seattle team in the upcoming edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.


“I'm thrilled to be appointed as the Visit Seattle Skipper for the 2017-18 race edition,” said Nikki, who at aged 23, is also the youngest ever Skipper to lead a team in the event’s twenty-year history.

“The residents and industries of Seattle are all about welcoming diversity and culture, fostering art and creativity, getting outdoors and encouraging adventure – these are all values that I share and I am looking forward to representing the city of Seattle as a business and tourist destination around the world.”


Despite her young age, Nikki has already amassed an impressive sailing career having skippered in numerous inshore and offshore racing campaigns, including three ARC races across the Atlantic (twice winning the Youngest Skipper Award), two Fastnet campaigns, and has sailed more than 10,000 miles in offshore deliveries.


As an RYA instructor for over three years she has also already taught over 200 students and also recently launched a Sailing and Watersports centre in Denver, Colorado. With links to the US and family in Squamish, BC, Canada, three hours away from Seattle, Nikki says she is expecting Seattle to be a busy stopover when the twelve Clipper 70s berth at the Port of Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina in April 2018 after completing the Mighty Pacific leg.

This is the second time the West Coast US destination has partnered with the Clipper Race. Supported by its partners, Seattle Sports Commission and the Port of Seattle, the city debuted as a Host Port and Team Partner in the 2015-16 edition of the race.


Speaking about her appointment,
Tom Norwalk, Visit Seattle President and CEO says: “It is Visit Seattle’s honour to have Nikki at the helm of its namesake boat. Her accomplishments are beyond impressive and her ambition to take sailing to the next level, not only for herself but with the men and women aboard the Visit Seattle, in what is often referred to as one of the greatest challenges in the world, shows great spirit, leadership and determination.

“Nikki is a natural choice to lead the Visit Seattle yacht to success in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race.”

A city on the leading edge of innovation, Seattle is home to some of the world’s biggest corporations and has global appeal as a place to do business, live and visit. Representing the city in the 2017-18 edition, the Visit Seattle team will engage with international Clipper Race partners as well as countries and cities on the race route with an aim to building increased international trade links with the US.

“The Visit Seattle yacht design is as vibrant, fun and inviting as the city. Just like the yacht, as ambassadors to Seattle, my crew will share its courage, determination, thirst for adventure and passion for exploration during our race campaign,” adds Nikki.

Nikki’s Visit Seattle crew members will be announced at the upcoming Crew Allocation Day, at Portsmouth Guildhall on Saturday 20 May.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race starts from Liverpool on Sunday 20 August and will take approximately eleven months to complete, taking in six continents and crossing the world’s major oceans.

The twelve-strong race fleet, including the Visit Seattle team, will arrive into Seattle in April 2018 after racing over half way of its epic voyage around the world.

About Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the world’s largest ocean race and is also regarded as one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. At 40,000 nautical miles long and taking almost a year to complete, it consists of twelve teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.

This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to taxi drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 74.

Whether they choose to take on the whole circumnavigation or compete in one or more of eight individual legs, all our crew achieve something remarkable as they conquer some of the world’s most challenging oceans.

The overall route is split into a series of global races and a maximum 12 points going to first place ascending to 1 point for twelfth place. The team with the highest cumulative points at the end of the final race wins the series, and the Clipper Race trophy.

The next edition of the race is due to start on Sunday 20 August 2017. For more information, go to: www.clipperroundtheworld.com

About Visit Seattle

Visit Seattle has served as the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Seattle and King County for more than 50 years. A 501( c ) 6 organization, Visit Seattle enhances the economic prosperity of the region through global destination branding along with competitive programs and campaigns in leisure travel marketing, convention sales and overseas tourism development. Nearly 40 million annual visitors spend $7 billion in the city and county each year. The economic power of travel and tourism generates 74,000 Seattle area jobs and contributes $718 million in annual state and local tax revenue. Visit visitseattle.org.

 

About The Seattle Sports Commission

The Seattle Sports Commission (SSC), a division of Visit Seattle, is committed to making Seattle a world-class sports community.  Sports have the opportunity to bring the world to Seattle and bring our region together.  A strong sports culture can strengthen local businesses, local kids and local pride. www.seattlesports.org.

 

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 May 2017 )