YOU, the Clipper Race family!

Usually the winner of the Stormhoek Social Spirit Award is kept under wraps until the Official Prize-Giving Ceremony at the end of each race in the series, however having been inspired by the warmth and support among the Clipper Race family during the Seattle Pacific Challenge, our Official Wine Partner is taking the unusual step of announcing the winner before the fleet arrives into port.

Speaking on behalf of Stormhoek Wines, Bernard Fontannaz, the company owner, reflects on what inspired him to sponsor the Stormhoek Social Spirit Award for Race 9: “It is rare in life that we get a chance to understand what really matters, what brings us together. It is our courage and friendship in times of loss that reminds us about what is truly important - that we are family and friends. This sense of belonging is what makes us discover who we really are and it's what drives us to live life as an adventure.

“Following the tragic loss of Sarah Young on IchorCoal on this race, we decided not to have a nomination window for the award in this race and instead to take time-out to honour her memory and acknowledge the efforts of the whole Clipper Race community in supporting each other at this time; crew past and present, friends, family, Skippers, Sir Robin and the entire Clipper Race team who make it possible to have this adventure, who have all pulled together.”

Bernard’s wife, Sue, a 2013-14 race alumni, shares what the Clipper Race means to her: “The support and true spirit of the race is something those of us lucky enough to have experienced will never forget, and it’s what gets us through when times are tough. Recent events have allowed many more people to show their support of the crew. Special mention must go to the Clipper Race Yacht Club for their wonderful campaign to celebrate the social spirit, in which crew from all ten race editions have been sending in images of themselves holding up messages of support for the entire fleet which will be presented to the teams on arrival in Seattle. To mark their efforts we would like to present the Stormhoek Social Spirit Award pennant to the CRYC to accept on behalf of the entire Clipper Race family.”

Impressed by the show of unity by the CRYC and how crew have embraced its campaign, Stormhoek Brand Manager Lise Ewins, is inviting all Clipper Race supporters and crew to share the social spirit for the remainder of the race: “We would like to adopt and evolve what the CRYC has started by continuing to run the campaign on our own Facebook page for all friends, family and followers of the race. This way we can support the teams as they get to the final stages of the race when they need to dig deep, especially those crew who are completing the circumnavigation”.

To join the social spirit support movement for all Clipper Race crew at sea, please post a photo of yourself holding a piece of paper with three words written on it, carrying the message you would like to send the crew. Post the photo to the Stormhoek Wines Facebook page, (not the Clipper Race) and all will be collated for the Race Finish in London.

With the teams nearing the end of the toughest race yet of 2015-16, Lise added: “Let’s celebrate the social spirit that comes from daring to dream big and live our lives together. We would like to present the award for Race 9 to all the teams, the Skippers who are guiding them, Sir Robin who inspires us to live life as a daring adventure and to everyone in the Clipper Race team that has been working night and day to support those on the water and their friends and family at home.

“For all of you reading this, who spend hours glued to the Race Viewer, offering support from afar and in stopovers, this is for you too. We would like to celebrate this spirit of togetherness and the boldness to live our lives knowing that true courage comes with risk.

“We honour all of you in the Clipper Race family, who inspire all of us to live life as it was intended to be lived, and with the understanding that we care about each other.

“Thank you all for the courage and inspiration to celebrate life.”

To post your photo for the crew, click here to be taken to the Stormhoek Wines facebook page and your image can be viewed by the teams when they arrive in Seattle as well as added to the slideshow to be made for Race Finish on 30 July.

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