The Clipper Race has also teamed up with the San Francisco based BritWeek festival and has run a competition to offer someone from the Bay an opportunity to fly to the UK for three week’s training this summer and then to go out to China next March to join one of the yachts and race across the Pacific back to their home port. In addition they will become a BritWeek ambassador.
Five shortlisted candidates discovered which one of them was to take on the mighty Pacific leg when British America’s Cup sailor and Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie revealed the winner at the BritWeek ‘Sporting Heroes’ event sponsored by the Clipper Race and held at SBYC last night (13 June).
The winner was Stephanie Evans (28) a publishing editor from Oakland, San Francisco Bay. She said: “This means so much to me. I lost my dad suddenly and unexpectedly when I was 18. He was a skilled ocean racer. So I set about learning to sail and the opportunity to cross the Pacific Ocean in the Clipper Race is fantastic.
“Sailing is incredibly meaningful to me and has provided me with a deep well of confidence and inspiration. I also have a lot to give back to the sailing world. I look forward to making a positive and impactful contribution as a member of a Clipper Race crew and as an ambassador for BritWeek in San Francisco.”
Around 650 crew representing 40 nationalities participate throughout the Clipper Race, with around 250 crew sailing into the Bay area. Each yacht is sponsored by a country, state, city, or organisation. The British based event has been working with the UK Prime Minister’s office on the GREAT Britain campaign and has flown the flag for British business, culture and tourism, despite the multi-national nature of the crew and partners.
BritWeek will be joining forces with the Clipper Race during the San Francisco stopover to preview the annual BritWeek and showcase Britain. BritWeek San Francisco chairman Stuart Bagshaw said he was looking forward to the opportunity: “We have developed an excellent partnership with the Clipper Race. They supported this year’s BritWeek events in San Francisco and the opportunity to create a BritWeek ambassador to participate in the race and represent BritWeek is an excellent initiative. We look forward to developing the partnership and capitalising on the Clipper Race fleet’s visit next year.”