Monday, 03 July 2017


With just under 50 days remaining until the start of one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet, we are pleased to reveal further details for the week of festivities and timings for the highly anticipated Clipper 2017-18 Race Start, taking place on 20 August, in Liverpool.
Clipper Race Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “For the majority of Clipper Race crew members, who have come from many different walks of life, the Clipper Race journey began a year ago or more when they first applied to take part so with less than 50 days to do before the Race Start, you can really sense the excitement building amongst everyone.

“Liverpool is an incredibly proud and vibrant community and we have had fantastic experiences here in the past which is why we were so keen to return. There will be plenty to see and do so we hope to everyone join us once again and help make this another truly memorable event for the city, and our crew and supporters.”

The 20 August Race Start will begin with a Slipping Lines ceremony at 0915 in the city’s world-famous UNESCO waterfront Albert Dock before all twelve yachts and their courageous UK and international crew form a spectacular parade of sail on the River Mersey from 1115 to 1200. 

At 1230, the Clipper 2017-18 Race start gun will mark the beginning of the circumnavigation which, subject to change pending approval, will start with a short course on the River Mersey, a chance for spectators to get up and very close to the action.

This unique challenge is the only event which trains everyday people to become ocean racers, and final planning is underway as it prepares to return to Liverpool for the first time in a decade. Having grown enormously in number of participants, yacht entries, economic influence and media value since its last visit, race organisers are looking forward to putting on an even bigger show than ever before.

Councillor Wendy Simon, Assistant Mayor of Liverpool, said: “We can’t wait to welcome back the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to Liverpool. The day all the yachts arrive in the Albert Dock makes for a stunning sight and will really ramp up the anticipation for the start.

“The city has a very close affection for this event and we have wonderful memories from when we’ve been fortunate to host it in the past. All crew and supporters can expect a warm welcome and a magnificent send off as our beautiful waterfront is tailor made for spectacular maritime moments such as these.”

Liverpool, which is bidding to be the UK candidate city to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, will utilise the race's global platform to raise its international profile and maritime legacy. The city hopes to inspire a new generation of sailors and seafaring enthusiasts in the historic port city. The former European Capital of Culture also aims to promote its cultural and sporting heritage on the world stage to position the city as the home of large scale events that are accessible for all.

There will be plenty of chance for members of the public to get up close and personal with the race before its departure as the fleet is due to arrive in the city six days earlier on Monday 14 August. The arrival will coincide with the official opening of the Clipper Race Village, with a white sail parade of the fleet on the Mersey, followed by an official Civic Welcome ceremony.

For the duration of the week, there will be a series of public events and activities scheduled at the Clipper Race Village to include ‘About the Clipper Race’ free public talks and the opportunity to look around one of the Clipper 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

Crew can complete the full circumnavigation, or one or more of its eight challenging legs and approximately 40 per cent of crew have no previous sailing experience before they start their intensive race training programme. 

The Clipper 2017-18 Race, the biennial event’s eleventh edition, will visit six continents on its global route. After leaving Albert Dock crew will race over 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean to the first stopover port, Ponte del Este, Uruguay. From there the fleet will continue on to Cape Town, Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart, the Whitsundays, Sanya and Qingdao in China, Seattle, Panama, New York, and Derry-Londonderry, before completing the circumnavigation in Liverpool on July 28, 2018.


Kathryn Foulkes, Global Communications Officer

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race


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:

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Last Updated ( Monday, 03 July 2017 )