'A major maritime coup for Liverpool'
THE biggest round the world ocean race is to start and finish on the River Mersey, it was announced today.
Mayor Joe Anderson described the decision by organisers Clipper Ventures as a major maritime coup for Liverpool.
The 2017-18 edition of the famous Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will set sail from the Albert Dock in Liverpool, on Sunday, August 20 and return approximately 11 months later, in the summer of 2018.
The race now consists of 12 70-foot modern racing yachts sailed by 700 amateur crew, representing over 40 nationalities from all walks of life, led by professional skippers, making it the biggest ocean race to circumnavigate the planet.
It will follow a route which will include stopovers in South America, Cape Town, Sydney in Western Australia, East Coast Australia, Sanya and Qingdao – China, Seattle in the USA, Panama, New York, and Derry Londonderry in Northern Ireland before heading back to Liverpool.
Crew members can complete the full circumnavigation, or one or more of its eight legs, in one of the toughest oceanic endurance challenges.
British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-1969 and founder of the Clipper Race, said: “We are thrilled to announce that the Clipper Race is returning to the historic city of Liverpool. A significant site for UK maritime history. I fondly remember the warm reception we received when Liverpool last hosted the Clipper Race and am looking forward to returning to Albert Dock again this August."
He added: “The Clipper Race has grown enormously in number of participants, yacht entries, economic influence and media value since it was last hosted by Liverpool a decade ago and we are looking forward to putting on an even bigger show in the city this time, which will not just have significant local economic impact, but will also put a maritime spotlight on the city all around the world.”
As the official start and finish partner, Liverpool will utilise the Clipper Race’s global platform to raise its international profile, particularly as it bids to be the UK host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The 40,000-nautical mile race will mark the fourth-time Liverpool has hosted the Clipper event in its 11 editions, making the city the event’s most frequented start and finish port.
It previously hosted the start and finish in 2002-03, 2005-06 and 2007-08, in the lead up to the city being named European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Mayor Joe Anderson, said: “It is a huge coup for Liverpool to once again play host to the start and finish of this prestigious race.This city embraces and thrives on maritime spectacles - our affinity with the river is always much-celebrated and being the start and finish partner of the Clipper 2017-18 race is sure to attract thousands to our world-famous waterfront.”
He added: “The impact on the local economy as a result of this race will of course be huge, but the pride it will engender in the people of Liverpool is priceless as the international spotlight shines on the city once again."