The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the only event of its type. Anyone, even if they have never stepped on a boat before, can join the adventure and circumnavigate the world in an eleven month-long marathon.
This is the only race in the world where the organisers supply the fleet of twelve identical, 70-foot, stripped down racing yachts – each sponsored by a brand – and manned with a fully-qualified skipper, employed to lead the crews safely around the globe.
It’s where taxi drivers rub shoulders with chief executives, vicars mix with housewives, students work alongside bankers, nurses work with vets and doctors team with rugby players. It’s an experience that will change people’s lives. Yet while the crews may be amateur, no one has told the ocean that. The sea does not distinguish between Olympians or novices and if the Southern Ocean, the Pacific or the South Atlantic decides to throw down the gauntlet, the crews need to be ready to face exactly the same challenges as those experienced by the pro racer.
All crew members must complete 26 days of compulsory training, either in the UK or in Australia, each crew member is then allocated to a team, ensuring a fair skillset across the fleet. There is no barrier to entry, with crew racing from the age 18, but all require the right mental and physical fitness to take on this endurance event. Around 20 percent of the 680 crew members who take part in the Clipper Race take on the full circumnavigation, with the rest racing one or more of the eight legs. You can find out which Legs are the most suitable for you in the Route Builder.
When crew return from the biggest challenge they have ever faced, they bring home countless lessons with them. The importance of teamwork and the importance of respect. Of giving more than you take. Of learning what your body is capable of. An appreciation of cultures, religions, lifestyles and attitudes that connect with communities right around the globe. Because of its amateur status and varied crew profile, don’t for a moment consider this to be some sort of easy option. The crews have to work hard to become winners and it’s not unusual that boats might finish within minutes of each other after three weeks and 3,000 miles of ocean racing.
The race is divided in to a series of eight legs and crews can decide to race one of them, select a combination of legs or sign up to become a round the world crew member and complete the full circumnavigation. There are 16 individual races in total and, just like in Formula 1, points are awarded at the end of each race, building towards a championship total and the Clipper Race Trophy.
With all boats identical and budgets equal, no one has a head start. It’s the ultimate long distance match race and the winners are those who keep their focus the longest. It’s a unique opportunity to experience a rare freedom and only the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race makes it possible. It’s not easy and only those with a firm desire to live life to the full apply. Do you dare meet the challenge? Start your journey now.
More than 40 years have gone by since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's record breaking solo and non-stop circumnavigation in 1968-69. Now, as Chairman of Clipper Ventures Plc, he is at the forefront of promoting round the world yacht racing. Clipper Ventures is focused on developing and promoting major events capable of attracting significant participation, media coverage and associated sponsorship revenue. Sir Robin founded the company on the premise that sailing should be made available to everyone, regardless of age or experience.
More than 3,500 people have now competed in the nine editions of the Clipper Race to date. The company also owns the rights to the professional solo round the world VELUX 5 OCEANS race and runs a successful events division offering corporate sailing and development programmes.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is the Executive Chairman and Founder of Clipper Ventures Plc. Sir Robin has been involved in sailing all his life and holds a Department of Transport Master’s Certificate. He is the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world and has also set the record for the fastest circumnavigation with Sir Peter Blake. In 2007 he completed his second solo circumnavigation when he competed in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race. Sir Robin has considerable experience of the administration of round the world races having served on the Whitbread Race committee from 1990 to 1994 and having organised the BOC Challenge Round the World Race in 1982 and 1986. He has been named RYA/YJA Yachtsman of the Year an unprecedented three times and is soon to participate in the classic Route de Rhum at the age of 75.