New crew welcomed in New Jersey for final leg of maritime adventure

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Today, Liberty Landing Marina in New Jersey was awash with Clipper Race jackets and t-shirts, as the race bid farewell to the crew leaving their teams and welcoming the new 77 crew joining the fleet for Leg 8, the final in the 11-month long, 40,000 mile series.

Chairman and Founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston greeted the new joiners and wished them well in the adventure they are about the embark on, among them was Old Pulteney competition winner, Tom Taggart, a 49 year-old Clynical Psychologist from Northern Ireland – who won the opportunity of a lifetime to race on board the Single Malt Scotch Whisky team sponsor’s nationwide competition – the Old Pulteney Ultimate Sailing Experience.

Arriving in New Jersey, Tom said: “My father and I are both Single Malt lovers and I bought him a bottle of Old Pulteney for his birthday, I hadn’t heard of it before and wanted to try it. I saw the competition and applied. I was surprised to be shortlisted; you don’t imagine that these things are going to happen to you.

“It’s kind of hard to believe, it’s a very unusual experience and being here today joining you can see that like me, for everyone ere this is one of the big events in my whole life and I am very excited to start racing.”   

Joining Tom and the international crew is Hill Dickinson ambassador Beatrice Cameli, a 29 year-old Paralegal from London who will race on board Qingdao for the race’s Official Legal Partner.

Beatrice says: “I have never crossed an ocean in my life so I am looking forward to the experience.  It was good to meet the other joiners today, all my crew and skipper Gareth, it’s going to be an exciting start out of New York.”

The fleet will depart for New York’s North Cove Marina tomorrow before making final preparations for the race to Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland on 7 June crossing 2,850 miles of the North Atlantic Ocean and on to Den Helder in the Netherlands before celebrating the completion of its global ocean adventure in London on 12 July.