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What is the Clipper Race looking for in a crew member?

There is no ideal person or typical crew member. We have had every age between 18 and 73 on the race and more than 40 nationalities ranging from complete novice through to Yachtmaster. What is crucial is your level of desire, determination and enthusiasm. You need to be a team player and someone who is tolerant, forgiving, understanding and supportive. If you have those soft skills we can turn you into an accomplished ocean racer.

When do the boats get in?

The scheduled arrivals for each port are details on the Port to Port page, here ( It also details the race start dates for each individual race. Look out on the news section and official twitter feed for the latest ETAs as the fleet close in on the finish line.

Where is the marina?

The marina addresses and locations are details on this section of the website (

What is Stealth Mode?

Stealth Mode is an interesting and exciting concept used on the Clipper Round The World Race.

Stealth Mode is a tactical card, which each team can use to hide their position from the rest of the fleet for the period of 24 hours (or in some cases 48 hours). The Race Office team still track the team's position every hour but their position is not displayed on the Race Viewer or sent to the fleet for the designated time. Teams automatically leave Stealth Mode once they are under 250 miles from the finish line. During longer races, teams will be awarded two Stealth Modes. These can be used separately or back-to-back (48 hour period during a North Pacific race).

Stealth Mode does not have to be used by each team but can definitely give an advantage during a race, especially when the skipper and navigators on board think they have spotted something in the weather reports that they think other teams may not have seen.

What is a Scoring Gate?

A line between a latitude and longitude, which offers the first three teams which cross extra race points (Three for first, two for second and one for third).

What is an Ocean Sprint?

A time trial between two marks, which offers the quickest yacht an extra two race points.

Sailing/Decisions Incidents

What is the Le Mans start procedure?

Due to local constraints and conditions it is not always possible to create a standard start line. In order to enable the Clipper Race fleet to begin racing in these circumstances, the ‘Le Mans Start’ was invented and has been successfully used in all previous races.

The aim of all Skippers is to ensure that the Le Mans Start is as fair as practically possible. The procedure does not work if any of the skippers try to jump the gun or gain an unfair advantage during the start sequence. If the Duty Skipper suspects that an unfair advantage is being obtained by any boat they will halt the start process and re-start the sequence.

The procedure uses the standard Clipper start countdown of 10 min, 4 min, 1 min, Start.

1. Prior to the 10 minute signal all boats have their mainsails hoisted. Headsails hanked on, halyards and sheets attached, but NOT hoisted.
2. All boats motor slowly (speed set by Duty Skipper), approx 2 to 3 boat lengths apart in a line abreast on a pre-arranged heading. This heading is usually towards the finish.
3. Once the fleet is in a line abreast, the lead skipper signals the 10 minute gun via VHF on a pre-arranged channel. Engines shall be used to ensure that the boats are lined up accordingly (either reverse or forward).
4. At the 4 minute signal, all crew shall be aft of the forward coffee grinder.
5. At the one minute signal, engines are to be turned off.
6. Mainsails are trimmed to ensure the fleet stays in line. If the fleet drift out of line, the Duty Skipper can stop the sequence and start the process again.
7. At the start gun, the crew can move forward and the headsails can be hoisted.
8. All boats must hold the agreed course and separation for the first 10 minutes after the start gun.

Additional points:

-The order of the line up will usually be decided during the Pre-start Skippers Briefing - this is usually pulled out of a hat. (with the exception of the Duty Skipper’s position).

- No spinnakers for the first 10 minutes after the start gun.

- No course changes within the first 10 minutes of start gun.

- No luffing for the first 10 minutes after start gun.

- Boats are allowed to tack away from the line up, but must sail behind the fleet. Any boat that does this has no rights of way over those boats that have not tacked during the 10 minutes after the start gun.

Duty Skipper

- The nominated Duty Skipper will be in the middle of the line up at position 6. This is so that they can judge if the fleet are in a straight line.

- The Duty Skipper has overall control of the start sequence and if required, will halt the start sequence at any time up until the start gun.

- The Duty Skipper will ensure that the boats are lined up as fairly as possible for the start sequence.

- The Duty Skipper shall call out the start sequence on a pre-arranged VHF channel.

- The Duty Skipper shall contact the Race Office to confirm that the start has been successfully completed within 30 minutes of the start. The message shall include the official start time, the weather conditions at the start and any other relevant information (e.g. which boat led, tactics etc).

Stopovers/In Port

What happens in port?

You take care of your boat. If you're not ready to race when you cross the start line, you've already lost. You need to take care of cleaning, maintenance, re-provisioning and race planning. You can then get some down time, see the sights and catch your breath.

I have arrived at my joining port and need to contact the Clipper Race Office, who do I call?

If you are arriving at your joining port and need to contact the team, please call Race Manager, Gillian Russell on +44 (0) 7780 996 400

I'm a friend and family member, can I see the crew straight away in port?

It is more than likely crew will have to go through customs and immigration upon arrival. The Race Office team try and ensure this is completed as quickly as possible, after the official arrival procedures crew are free to meet friends and family.


How fit do I need to be?

Everyone coming to the Clipper Race has a different level of fitness and different idea of what fit means. Training will show you what areas you need to work on. Everything on the Clipper Race yacht is big and heavy and so teamwork and technique are just as important as brute strength. You will get fit on the race? Burning 5,000 calories a day and exercising (even while you sleep) is great.

How are people allocated to teams?

Not only are the yachts identical we also make sure that crew is matched so it is still an even competitive race. We spread the ages, experience, vocations and nationalities across the fleet. Of course if you have a particular yacht that you would like to represent please tell us. But we cannot guarantee being able to grant your request.

Does it matter that I'm not a sailor, doctor or engineer?

Not at all. Being good with people and being self-aware is far more important. We get lots of doctors, nurses, vets, engineers and experienced sailor. Having unique and interesting life experiences and stories to share is just as important.

How do people deal with seasickness?

Trial and error. Everyone finds a different remedy that works for them. This might be as basic as over the counter medicine. If you take this route, then take a tablet before you sail and during the first 24 hours so it's in your system while you're gaining your sea legs. You can then stop. Other people go for herbal remedies like ginger, wrist bands, that apply pressure to key points and even cotton wool in the ears. When you find a solution that works? Stop experimenting. The worst case scenario is you feel terrible for 48 hours and then your body adjusts and you're ok again.

How do I purchase email and phone communications on board?

To purchase your crew communications to keep in touch on board, you need to register: To register for an account please visit: Login: clipperrtw Password: 2013.

I want a flight with an excess baggage allowance, how do I do this?

The Marine Travel Company is the Official Travel Partner for the Clipper Race. Booking your flights through them allows access to specially negotiated marine fares with airlines. Fares are fully flexible in case of delays and an increased baggage allowance of 40kgs enables you to travel with all the kit you need to face the challenges ahead. Visit

Will I need visas as a crew member?

You must have the correct visas and vaccinations as well as the correct certificates, which you will need to carry with you on the race. You must send a copy of your visa and vaccination certificates in order for you to race. When applying for a visa you must ask for a tourist visa only. US VISA: If you are participating in Leg 6, 7 or 8 and you do not have an American or Canadian passport, or do not hold a Green Card, then you must obtain a B2 visa to enter or leave the US by yacht. An ESTA is NOT SUFFICIENT. The US immigration service is changing the format of how applicants are able to book interview appointments, and you will shortly be able to book online and via Skype as well as by phone.

When do I need to wear my official crew kit?

You will need to wear your official crew kit at key Clipper Race events including the arrival and departure of each leg and any official functions or events you attend as a Clipper Race crew member. If your sponsor has provided you with any additional kit you will need to ensure you are wearing it at these times.

Change in Medical Situation?

If you have had any change in your medical condition since you first completed your Medical Report Form then you must inform the Clipper Race Office in the UK before you travel so that we can assess if it affects your participation in the race. There is no point turning up in Rio with a plaster cast on your leg or a serious illness and expecting to sail. Your race insurance may be invalidated if you have not declared any change in your medical condition.

If I have a question about sponsorship, who can I speak too?

If you have a question about sponsorship, you can speak to Crew Recruitment Manager, David Cusworth or Communications Coordinator Amy Martindale, who can assist you with your query.

Are there any offers or discounts for Clipper Race crew?

Check out the recent great offers available courtesy of our official suppliers:

This year, we have teamed up with GoPro UK sailing specialists, SailSpy to become the race’s Official GoPro Supplier.
As part of the deal a Clipper Race crew, friends and family camera bundle is available by emailing or calling 01983299314. The pack consists of the following:

GoPro Hero3 Black Edition Bundle £444.00

GoPro Hero3 Black Edition Camera
16Gb Micro SDHC card
Additional battery
12v USB Charger
Suction Mount
Grab bag of mounts
Clipper Race and SailSpy 5l Dry bag

GoPro Hero3 Silver Edition Bundle £364.00

GoPro Hero3 Silver Edition Camera
16Gb Micro SDHC card
Additional battery
12v USB Charger
Suction Mount
Grab bag of mounts
Clipper Race and SailSpy 5l Dry bag

Further info on GoPro cameras and sailing accessories can be requested at

GARMIN:  Official Marine Electronics Supplier and Team Sponsor GARMIN is offering a 25% discount on a wide range of Automotive, Outdoor, Sports and Marine products. 

Email for your unique discount code and product information.

OCEAN SAFTEY:  Official Safety Supplier Ocean Safety is offering a 25% discount on a range of safety supplies.  

Go to the bespoke website to order

HENRI LLOYD: There is a 25% discount on the crew extras range with Henri Lloyd. Please contact Paul Ormes on +44 (0) 1305 776777.

Kelvin Hughes book offer: Kelvin Hughes Charts, Official Hydrographic Supplier to the Clipper 13-14 Race is offering 20% discount off the products featured in its Bookharbour 2012/13 catalogue.  Items can be ordered by emailing quoting ‘Clipper 13-14 Crew Member’ or online at quoting 20% voucher code KHCLIPPER1314 at checkout. KH Charts has put together a suggested reading list which can be viewed here.

What kind of bags work best?

Have a day bag and a long term bag and different dry bags for different items so you can find it easily in the dark. Clear bags are great as you can see what’s in them and it’s handy to have a few small bags to decant the contents of your larger bag into if necessary.


How flexible is the training?

Very. We run courses most weeks of the year and you can plan well ahead of.

Where is training based?

The training department is based: Clipper Race Training Department Charles House Gosport Marina Mumby Road Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 1AH United Kingdom Telephone: +44 (0) 2392 601253

When can I undertake training for the Clipper 2015-16 Race in 2015?

I can confirm that yes you can complete all four Levels of training in 2015 prior to the Race start. Please be aware that the start date has yet to be confirmed so although August is a possibility it is not a definite. We will have courses running from February until June with courses running almost every week so there are plenty of dates to choose from.



How much personal kit can I take?

As a team you will make that decision. Everything you do is a fine balance between having enough and having too much. Too much adds weight and slows the boat down. Not enough means you are cold, wet and demoralised. Somewhere between 20 and 30Kgs of kit is typical.