01 August 2017

The Clipper 2017-18 Race will feature a unique and inspirational new Team Partner, Dare To Lead, which will be Skippered by Dale Smyth.

Dare to Lead is an exciting new concept, founded by Dirk van Daele, a businessman who took part in the Clipper 2009-10 Race, which will utilise the race’s global platform to promote and develop teamwork, determination and leadership skills for its international crew.

Dirk explains: “When a team of people from varied backgrounds – privileged or not, experienced or novice, of any age, race or culture – grows together through the unique challenge of the Clipper Race, we believe that each individual participant will unlock their own potential to become a leader and a force for good in their personal lives, at work and in their communities.

“Corporations recognise that in each individual lies the potential to achieve greatness, and they believe that the racers who have the courage to join the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race have the potential to be successful and become leaders in their own right.”

Dirk adds: “I’m very proud to reveal the Dare To Lead team entry in the Clipper 2017-18 Race and look forward to following the powerful, awe-inspiring journeys of our crew, both on and off the race track.”

(Above: William Ward and Dirk van Daele)

Dare To Lead, will seek to inspire the Clipper Race’s international crew who represent over 40 nationalities, to apply the life skills learnt during this ocean challenge to become catalysts for positive change in their personal lives, professional careers and social communities.

The team will also feature the welcome return of the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation Ambassadors, who will compete as crew members on the Dare To Lead team. Developed to instil confidence and leadership skills in underprivileged African youths, 17 South African ambassadors have already participated in race legs of the previous two Clipper Race editions. Each candidate has gone on to find employment or enter further education as a result of their experience, and in doing so have become a leading example for their communities.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “It is refreshing to have a unique entry such as Dare To Lead in the eleventh edition of the Clipper Race. I am delighted that Dirk is continuing his long-standing association with this tremendous ocean adventure and that the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation Ambassadors will once again be joining the Clipper Race crew.”

Dare To Lead Skipper Dale Smyth, 35, born in Liverpool and now a permanent resident of South Africa, is a highly skilled sailor with over 50,000 offshore nautical miles in his log book. One of the most experienced offshore training Skippers in South Africa, he has over 17 years of experience.

On the announcement, Dale says: “The opportunity of leading a team that is spreading such an inspiring message is one that resonates with me personally. I can’t wait to represent the Dare To Lead team and promote its exciting values around the world.”

(Above: Dirk van Daele pictured on the famous Abbey Road crossing which the Beatles made famous, as they prepare to start their Clipper Race journey from the band’s hometown)

The Dare To Lead yacht will leave Gosport for Liverpool with the rest of the twelve-strong Clipper Race fleet on Wednesday 9 August, ahead of the highly anticipated Race Start from Albert Dock on Sunday 20 August.

Inspired to take on the Clipper Race challenge yourself? There is still time to join the Asia Pacific Leg 5 and Mighty Pacific Leg 6 of the 2017-18 race, with training courses taking place this Autumn. Click here for more information on how to join the Race Of Your Life.

We’re supporting every child in danger with race Charity Partner Unicef UK. To make a donation and help us reach our fundraising target of £400,000, click here.

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