​Clipper 2023-24 Race Start: Day 1 action

30 August 2023

It’s Day 1 of the Race Start celebrations in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth and the Race Village is officially open!

Image: Clipper Race fleet berthed in Gunwharf Quays ahead of the Race Start on 3 September

From today until 3 September, Gunwharf Quays will host the Clipper Race fleet, with events, workshops and tons of activities on and off the water making for a jam-packed programme right up until the fleet and Clipper Race Crew departs on their 40,000nm circumnavigation.

The first day of the festivities kicked off with open boat tours on board a Clipper 70, where the public had the chance to see where the intrepid Clipper Race Crew will be living for the next eleven months. Motor tours were also in swing all day in the harbour, and the stage programme started with a series of discovery talks from the Clipper Race team on what it takes to take on the Race of Your Life. The 6th Hamble Cubs also paid a visit to the Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam yacht, with Race Skipper Josh Stickland giving a guided tour of the yacht and what it takes to be an ocean racer.

Image: Future Clipper Race Crew checking out one of the Clipper 70s

A highlight of any Race Start is the naming ceremony for each of the eleven yachts- a key moment where each yacht is officially named, with the crew having the chance to celebrate the start of an epic challenge alongside their Team Partner. Today, the UNICEF team received a video message from fellow adventurer and UNICEF UK Ambassador Levison Wood, before officially blessing the team yacht with obligatory fizz.

Image: UNICEF team during the naming ceremony

Image: UNICEF team receive video message from Leveson Wood

The Bekezela Community Foundation (BCF) team also had an official naming ceremony on board the beautifully designed team yacht. Following an electric performance on board by an African choir, the crew witnessed the official naming of the vessel and celebrating the adventure ahead.

Images (above and below): BCF naming ceremony

The Race Village will be open from 10:00 tomorrow (31 August) at Gunwharf Quays with another day full of talks and yacht tours. The Adventure for Good live music programme will also kick off with performances from some incredible emerging artists. Plus, taste your way around the globe with World Street Food, open from 10:00-19:00. Check out the full schedule here.

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