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The ninth edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will feature a UK team aboard a GREAT Britain yacht in an innovative partnership between the Clipper Race, UK Government and British brands.

The impressively large 70-foot state-of-the-art ocean racing yacht will be launched in land-locked Trafalgar Square by Sports Minister Hugh Robertson on Wednesday 31 July, where it will remain until Sunday evening 4 August, allowing race enthusiasts a rare opportunity to get a close encounter with a new Clipper 70 ocean racer out of the water.

Clipper Race chairman and founder, the legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “This is a unique project and I am very proud that the Clipper Race can provide a powerful platform to promote GREAT Britain trade and tourism to a global audience. We look forward to working with GREAT British brand partners and the UK Government, through the Prime Minister’s office, to deliver a highly effective international marketing campaign.”

The project is bringing together a cross-section of partners from the private sector to sponsor the GREAT Britain yacht over the next 16 months and participate in an international campaign that will link up with UK trade and tourism global marketing initiatives. The first partners will be unveiled at the launch.

The project has been endorsed by the Sports and Tourism Minister, the Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP, who will join Sir Robin to name the yacht in Trafalgar Square. He stated: “For 17 years the Clipper Race has played a leading role in promoting British sailing and is now a core asset for British business internationally. We have experienced a truly memorable 2012, and it is organisations like this that will continue to push our sporting prowess.

“This is a unique opportunity, bringing together our sporting legacy with some of the strongest and most vibrant British brands. I look forward to the GREAT Britain yacht launch in Trafalgar Square.”

The GREAT Britain yacht will sail back into the capital with the rest of the 12-strong Clipper Race fleet over the August Bank Holiday weekend to spend a week in St Katharine Docks, central London’s only marina, prior to departing from Tower Bridge on the Thames on Sunday 1 September on its 40,000-mile race around the world; the fleet will return to London almost 11 months later in July 2014.