The two Clipper 68 yachts which are to be permanently located at the new Clipper Race training base in Australia are currently preparing for their first major event - The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (RSHYR) 2013.
Crew from a wide variety of backgrounds, including some Clipper Race veterans have bought training packages, which include the classic RSHYR.
“This is a great way to showcase our arrival in Sydney, running our first event in such an iconic race alongside the new 12-strong Clipper 70 fleet,” said Clipper Ventures Australia Managing Director Kirsty Whyte.
Sydney-based Kirsty is a circumnavigator, having crewed the Spirit of Australia winning entry in the Clipper 2009-10 Race. She holds a Masters in Business Administration and has worked in the Australian business and finance sector for the past 15 years.
“Australia is a vast nation with a keen interest in sailing and water sports and I see many strong opportunities for the new division and the Clipper Race within Australia and the Southern Hemisphere,” added Kirsty.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston welcomed the crew aboard the two yachts berthed at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) ahead of their training leading up to next week’s famous race.
He will participate as navigator aboard CV10 with Skipper Jim Dobie, a dual citizen of the UK and Australia, and Chief Instructor at the new base in Sydney. The other Ed Dubois design 68 is CV5 under the leadership of former Clipper Race skipper Piers Dudin.
Australian boats and skippers have won the last two Clipper Races. Australians make up the second-highest crew contingent after Britons and the new office will mean three out of the four stages of Clipper Race training will be on offer in the country, removing the need to travel to the UK for courses.