Gareth Glover to lead Qingdao as skipper

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Gareth Glover has been selected as the skipper of the Qingdao entry in the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race.

Qingdao is to sponsor two more editions of the Clipper Race to build on its legacy as the sailing venue of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and to continue to strengthen its brand as China’s sailing city. Gareth, 36, is one of twelve elite skippers appointed to the prestigious and challenging position of Clipper Race skipper following a rigorous selection process.

No stranger to the biennial race, Gareth skippered the New York entry during the Clipper 11-12 Race, and along with his crew recorded four podium finishes. With a brand new matched fleet of twelve Clipper 70 ocean racing yachts commissioned for the ninth edition of the race, Gareth is looking forward to putting his expertise and experience to the test on board the new fleet to lead Qingdao to victory.

“I am extremely proud to have been appointed skipper of Qingdao, the longest serving sponsor of the Clipper Race to date. This will be the fifth time they have sponsored an entry in the race, and with a brand new fleet of matched ocean racers, I can’t think of a better time to stand on the podium with my team than during the Clipper 13-14 Race.”

Mr Liu Yu, Executive Deputy Secretary General of Qingdao Major International Sailing Events (Festivals) Organizing Committee said: “Congratulations to Gareth Glover on being selected as the Qingdao yacht skipper. He is not new to Qingdao. In 2012, he came to Qingdao and trained the Chinese crew. He skippered New York in last season and has rich experience and professional skills in sailing. We hope the Qingdao yacht will achieve great results in the coming season under the leadership of Skipper Gareth Glover and through the joint effort of all Qingdao crew. It will be the fifth time for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to stop in Qingdao. We look forward to welcoming the Qingdao yacht back to its home port in triumph. We wish the Clipper 2013-14 Round the World Yacht Race a complete success.”

With just 16 weeks until race start on Sunday, 1 September, Gareth is working to develop his multinational crew members, including nine Chinese who are currently training out of Gosport.

The Clipper Race was founded in 1996 by sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail single-handed, non-stop around the world in 1968-69.

Sir Robin knows all too well what it takes to skipper an entry to victory in the world’s longest ocean race.

“Leading a team in a race around the world is one of the hardest and most challenging jobs that any skipper could ever undertake and we’re confident that with Gareth’s knowledge and experience, he’ll enjoy every success this time around.”

The Clipper Race fleet will return to Qingdao after racing from Singapore during Leg 5 of the Clipper 13-14 Race, arriving in the Chinese port in early March 2014.

Mr Liu Yu added: “During the Qingdao stopover, we will continue to hold Welcome, Prize-giving and Race Start Ceremonies, a series of cultural activities, such as Home Stay, Sailing School and Community Visit Programmes, a Clipper Race Qingdao Stopover Carnival and Olympic Sailing Museum Cultural Exchange Activity, which will enable the Clipper Race crew to have the opportunity to experience the hospitality of the Qingdao citizens and Chinese culture.”

Having joined forces with the Clipper Race in 2005, Qingdao is the longest serving sponsor.