London-born professional yachtsman Simon Talbot (44) is today confirmed as Skipper of the GREAT Britain entry, the latest of the 12 ocean racing yachts to be announced which will be departing from St Katharine Docks, on 1 September for the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. It’s part of an innovative new campaign partnership between the race organisers, UK Government and British brands to showcase UK trade and tourism on a global platform.
Skipper Simon Talbot (seen above with Conrad Bird, GREAT Campaign Director) recently visited Downing Street to be briefed by GREAT Britain campaign officials and later said: “This is a very proud moment for me to learn I will be representing my country as skipper of the GREAT Britain team in the Clipper Race. The crew are very excited to hear the news. We look forward to meeting our Team Partners over the coming weeks and flying the flag for the UK around the world.”
Inspired by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the founder the of the Clipper Race and sailing legends Peter Blake and Chay Blyth, Simon had always dreamt of following in their footsteps and completing a circumnavigation. Encouraged by his parents who both served in the Royal Navy, Simon started sailing lessons at 12 years-old, and quickly developed a love of competitive sailing.
As a competent sailor with over 20 years’ experience and 50,000 miles of sailing under his belt, he has no illusions about what the biggest challenge of the race will be: “The task of keeping a large group of people working together as a happy, well-motivated team, in a confined and potentially stressful environment for an extended period of time will be a challenge unique in my experience, but it has the potential to be extremely rewarding.”
Simon and his crew will take a break from training to view their yacht in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 3 August during a team-building weekend in the London area.
The GREAT Britain yacht will be available for public viewing from its launch on 31 July for five days, allowing race enthusiasts the opportunity for a closer look at the 70ft long stripped down ocean racer that makes up the brand new Clipper 13-14 Race fleet.
There are a limited number of berths remaining for people of all ages to compete in the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race on Legs 4, 5 and 6. There is a minimum age limit of 18 years old.
The Clipper Race will depart London on 1 September and will return there the following July after racing more than 40,000 miles around the world visiting 15 ports on six continents.