​Clipper Race Fleet Approaching Liverpool

13 August 2017

Anticipation is growing in Liverpool, ahead of the arrival of the Clipper Race fleet on Monday.

Tomorrow, the twelve matched Clipper 70 foot ocean racing yachts will return to Liverpool for the first time in a decade, and will be greeted by an Official Civic Welcome ceremony at the historic Albert Dock, following a white sail parade on the Mersey.

Since leaving Gosport on Wednesday 9 August, the Clipper Race Skippers and members of their crew have been sailing up the west coast of England, past Wales, and into the Irish Sea to be poised to enter the River Mersey on Monday.

Reporting from the Garmin yacht earlier today, Skipper Gaëtan Thomas says: “The sun is shining, we have light winds, and the crew are getting used to the watch system and enjoying it.

“We had some spinnaker practises yesterday and it was good to see those balloons up. The plan for today is to hoist our last spinnaker and see what it looks like, as well as some splicing and finishing some jobs. Just one more day then we can do our parade, dock the boat, and have a good shower!”

Dale Smyth, Skipper of Dare To Lead, is also happy with how his team are progressing, adding: “We have had a fantastic few days of sailing, especially when we were leading the pack down the English Channel on a fast run to Land’s End.

“We have been doing some drills and have gone through various sail evolutions which have been good practise ahead of Race Start.”

PSP Logistics meanwhile, is enjoying the return of a gentle breeze from the south east after a quiet night off the coast of Ireland. Skipper Roy Taylor says: “We are making good progress towards the north of Anglesey. The wind is due to move to the south today and increase to 10 to 15 knots so we should have a nice sail.

“Lots of seamanship going on at the moment and all on board are looking forward to the stopover in Liverpool.”

PSP Logistics and Dare To Lead during the delivery to Liverpool. © Matt Dickens / OnEdition

The arrival of the Clipper Race fleet into Liverpool will also coincide with the opening of the Race Village at Albert Dock. Throughout the week leading up to Race Start, Albert Dock will be the centre of entertainment and activities. There will be opportunities to look around one of the Clipper 70-foot ocean racing yachts, ‘About the Clipper Race’ free public talks, as well as displays and demonstrations by our Official Partner s and Suppliers.

The twelve teams will also be working hard throughout the week to be ready for the biggest day in their Clipper Race journeys to date - Race Start on Sunday 20 August.

Formalities on the day will begin with the Departure Ceremony on the stage at Albert Dock at 0800. The twelve yachts will slip lines from 0915, before forming a spectacular parade of sail on the River Mersey from 1115 to 1200.

At 1230, the Clipper 2017-18 Race start gun will mark the beginning of the 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation across the world’s oceans. The race will start with a short course on the River Mersey, a chance for spectators to get close to the action and wave the teams off as they begin the 6,400 nautical mile journey to Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Feel inspired? There are still limited opportunities to take part in the Asia Pacific Leg 5 and Mighty Pacific Leg 6, and applications are also open for the Clipper 2019-20 Race. If you think you have what it takes to race across the world’s oceans, visit the Clipper Race website to apply. Or you can enquire about attending one of the Crew Presentations taking part at the Clipper Race Village in the week leading up to Race Start in Liverpool.

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