The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has announced that Cape Town will again be its official South African host port later this year with the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront being the fleet's base in the city for the ninth edition of the unique global race.
The fleet of twelve new 70-foot ocean racers will be a major attraction when it arrives in Cape Town in October; it is the world's biggest and longest event of its type and will be the only round-the-world yacht race stopping in the city this year.
Legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman and Founder of the Clipper Race said: “Cape Town is one of the most recognised ports in the world with a long tradition of hosting boats and their crews. We are very pleased to be returning, especially with our new fleet; I know that our crews will be delighted to savour all that the 'Tavern of the Seas' has to offer and sponsors are always keen to explore new trade and investment opportunities here.”
Sir Robin became the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-9. He created the Clipper Race in 1996 to train non-professional crew to take on the challenge of a lifetime - ocean racing under the guidance of a professional skipper. The event has grown in popularity over the years with ten South Africans signed up to compete in the 2013-14 edition of the race.
The impressive third generation Clipper Race fleet will be berthed at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town's leading tourist destination, renewing a long-term partnership between the Clipper Race and the city, and showcasing its thriving maritime culture to a huge global audience.
David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront said: “It is not only an honour, but also a pleasure, to welcome the world's biggest matched fleet of large ocean racing yachts to the V&A Waterfront in the Clipper 13-14 Race. As the only round the world yacht race visiting Cape Town in 2013, it serves as a strong economic driver and it brings with it great international and local interest, putting the V&A Waterfront and the city of Cape Town on the international stage.
“An event of this significance aligns to our strategy to be a host port for international ocean-racing events. This is a long term relationship that holds exciting prospects for the future.”
Cape Town's strong sailing heritage is reflected in the number of international yacht races to which it has played host over the years, providing an excellent base for Clipper Race crew to relax and recover after taking on the infamously stormy South Atlantic on Leg 2 of the race from Brazil.
Cape Town has firmly established itself as a highlight of the Clipper Race calendar for both crew looking to enjoy a well-earned break from the rigours of their ocean-racing adventure and for sponsors for whom the stopover has become an essential part of their activation.
The Capital of the Western Cape has been a regular stopover on the Clipper Race and this year will be the seventh time that the fleet has stopped in the iconic city to enjoy a warm South African welcome and prepare for the extreme challenges of the Southern Ocean that lie ahead. At 40,000 miles this is the world's longest ocean race and takes almost a year to visit 15 ports on six continents.
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