About the race

The Clipper Race is one of the biggest challenges of the natural world and an endurance test like no other.

With no previous sailing experience necessary, it’s a record breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht.

The brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, the event is now on its eleventh edition.

Divided into eight legs and 14 to 16 individual races, you can choose to complete the full circumnavigation or select individual legs. It is the only race in the world where the organisers supply a fleet of twelve identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide the crew.

Normally the domain of seasoned pros, this supreme challenge is taken on by ordinary, everyday people. Having completed a rigorous training course, participants are suited and booted in the latest extreme protection gear to commence the race of their lives - an unparalleled challenge where taxi drivers rub shoulders with chief executives, vicars mix with housewives, students work alongside bankers, and engineers team up with rugby players.

The sea does not distinguish between Olympians or novices. There is nowhere to hide - if Mother Nature throws down the gauntlet, you must be ready to face the same challenges as the pro racer. Navigate the Doldrums en route to South America, endure epic Southern Ocean storms, experience South African sunsets, face the mountainous seas of the North Pacific - and bond with an international crew creating lifelong memories before returning victorious.

Applications are now open for the 2017-18 and 2019-20 editions of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Seize the moment, unleash the adventure. Click here to apply.

You will never conquer or master the ocean but you can endure it. Mother Nature is an unforgiving mistress, always with one last trick up her sleeve for you when you least expect it. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Race Stats

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.

8 Legs8
6 Ocean Crossings
Over 700 Crew
Over 40,000 Nautical miles
We're recruiting for the Clipper Race Join The Race
We're recruiting for the Clipper Race Join The Race
We're recruiting for the Clipper Race Join The Race

History of the Race

Since the first Clipper Race crew left Plymouth in October 1996 on board eight 60-foot yachts, the race’s increase in size is almost immeasurable.

Today more than 4,000 people and three generations of Clipper ocean racing fleets have competed in what is known to be the world’s toughest ocean racing challenge.

The route of each edition of the race is unique, often formed by Host Ports around the globe. In the race’s twenty year history, more than fifty cities have have played host to the Clipper Race.

Click here to further explore the history of the race.

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The Fleet

The third generation of one-design Clipper Race yachts debuted in the Clipper 2013-14 Race, proving to be faster and more dynamic than previous Clipper Race yachts.

The twelve 70-foot yachts make up world’s largest matched fleet of ocean racing yachts. Designed by renowned naval architect Tony Castro, they are the shining jewel in the Clipper Race crown, perfectly adapted to this gruelling sailing challenge.

Click here to learn more about the Clipper 70s.

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Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

More than 40 years have gone by since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston made history by becoming the first man to sail solo and non-stop around the globe in 1968-69.

One of nine sailors to compete in the Times Golden Globe Race, Sir Robin set off from Falmouth, with no sponsorship, on 14 June 1968. With his yacht Suhaili packed to the gunwales with supplies he set off on a voyage that was to last just over ten months. He arrived back in Falmouth after 312 days at sea, on 22 April 1969, securing his place in the history books.

Sir Robin wanted everyone to have the opportunity to experience the challenge and sheer exhilaration of ocean racing because there are far more flags of success on the top of Mount Everest than on the high seas.

Among many other races, in 2007 Sir Robin has circumnavigated again in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race at the age of 68. For his latest challenge, Sir Robin will compete in the 10th anniversary edition of the Route de Rhum race which starts in St Malo, France, on 2 November 2014, and finishes at the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

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