All knight New York reunion

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Today the Clipper Race fleet is closing in on the Big Apple following a tense finale to Race 13, The Grange Hotels Trophy, from Port Antonio, Jamaica.

As the international teams make their way towards New York Harbour, former 1998 Clipper Race winning crew member, British entrepreneur and prominent sports businessman, Sir Keith Mills, is also in Manhattan, preparing for the start of his new Open 60 Ocean Masters World Championship series with the inaugural event starting from New York to Barcelona, Spain at 16:00 UTC.

Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said it was good to meet up with Sir Keith again and wish him well with his latest sailing venture:

“It’s great to see Sir Keith again, he took part in the Clipper Race and I don’t claim that we made him, I think he made himself long before that but he blames me for all his expensive sailing because I got him hooked! It is inspiring that he continues to create opportunities for sailing across the world and I wish all the competitors taking part today a fast and safe race to Barcelona.”

As the Clipper Race fleet battles headwinds the leading boats will probably just miss the opportunity to salute the Open 60s as they head out on their Transatlantic challenge.

Sir Keith has fond memories of his time with the Clipper Race and is pleased to see how much the event has grown in the 16 years that have transpired since his race on Alex Thomson’s winning 1998 team aboard Ariel:

“I was  interviewed by Sir Robin just before the start of the 1998 Clipper Race and joined a boat called Ariel the skipper was a very young man called Alex Thomson. I competed in the race and we won the race which was also the first major win for Alex.

“I am thrilled to see how Clipper Race has developed over the years, I have recommended a lot of people do the race and arriving on board tomorrow are two of my friends on different boats. The only disappointment is that I have to leave for London tonight so I will miss welcoming them in by 24 hours.”

As the Ocean Masters event clears North Cove Marina in Manhattan, the Clipper Race will prepare to make it the fleet’s home from Wednesday when the boats transfer from Liberty Landing in New Jersey where they will be arriving over the next couple of days.

The final leg of the Clipper Race departs New York on Saturday 7 June for the 5 week 3-race series back to London via Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland and Den Helder in The Netherlands.

Pictured: Sir Keith Mills with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Nándor Fa and Marcell Goszleth from Spirit of Hungary