The Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race started in London, UK on 1 September 2013 and will return on 12 July 2014 - at 40,000 miles it’s the world’s longest ocean race.
It is the only race in the world where the organisers supply the fleet of twelve identical 70-foot, stripped down racing yachts – each sponsored by a a brand – and manned with a fully-qualified skipper, employed to lead crews safely around the globe.
The event was established by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give everyone, regardless of sailing experience, the opportunity to discover the exhilaration of ocean racing.
Crew members can sign up for the whole circumnavigation or one or more of eight legs. The only qualification for the race is the minimum age of 18 – there is no upper age limit.
It’s the largest race ever - where DJs rub shoulders with chief executives, vicars mix with housewives, students work alongside bankers, nurses work with vets and doctors team with rugby players. It’s an experience that will change people’s lives. Yet while the crews 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 the gauntlet, the Clipper Race crews need to be ready to face exactly the same challenges as those experienced by the professional racer.
And, when they return from the biggest challenge they have ever faced, the crews bring home countless lessons with them. The importance of teamwork and the importance of respect. Of giving more than you take. Of learning what your body is capable of. An appreciation of cultures, religions, lifestyles and attitudes that connect with communities right around the globe.
Because of its amateur status and varied crew profile, don’t for a moment consider this to be some kind of easy option. The crews have to work hard to become winners and it’s not unusual that boats might finish within minutes of each other after three weeks and 3,000 miles of ocean racing.
The overall race is divided into individual stages and points are accumulated in a Formula 1-style scoring system. The yacht with the highest total at the finish wins the Clipper Race Trophy.
More than 40 years have gone by since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's record breaking solo and non-stop circumnavigation in 1968-69. Now, as Chairman of Clipper Ventures Plc, he is at the forefront of promoting round the world yacht racing. Clipper Ventures, the international marine events company founded in 1995, is focused on developing and promoting major events capable of attracting significant participation, income, media coverage and associated sponsorship revenue. Sir Robin founded the company on the premise that sailing should be made available to everyone, regardless of age or experience. More than 3,000 people have now competed in the eight editions of the Clipper Race to date. The company also owns the rights to the professional solo round the world VELUX 5 OCEANS race and runs a successful events division offering corporate sailing and development programmes.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is the Executive Chairman and founder Director of Clipper Ventures Plc. Sir Robin has been involved in sailing all his life and holds a Department of Transport Master’s Certificate. He is the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world and has also set the record for the fastest circumnavigation with Sir Peter Blake. In 2007 he completed his second solo circumnavigation when he competed in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race. Sir Robin has considerable experience of the administration of round the world races having served on the Whitbread Race committee from 1990 to 1994 and having organised the BOC Challenge Round the World Race in 1982 and 1986. He has been named RYA/YJA Yachtsman of the Year an unprecedented three times and participated in the 2010 Sydney-Hobart race at the age of 71.