​Dutch student revealed as winner of international Leg 6 competition

17 February 2015

20 year old Dutch student Kiki Bakker has been named as the winner of an international competition to win a berth on Leg 6, in the next edition of the race.

Amsterdam-based Kiki, who was selected at random from hundreds of applications, entered the contest last summer when she was in London to watch the finale of the 2013-14 race. She says: “I am so happy and cannot believe that I have really won a place on the Pacific Ocean leg of the Clipper 2015-16 Race.

“Last summer I sailed to London with my family for holidays and during my stay the Clipper Race was finishing in the St Katharine Docks. I talked to the crew and the stories of the enthusiastic people involved with the race inspired me to enter the competition. This race could be an amazing start of my future professional career, so it is a very exciting feeling."

The Pacific Ocean crossing is 5,500 miles long. It starts in Qingdao, China in March 2016, and will end in the West Coast of the USA almost a month later. Crew members will be trained to encounter Mother Nature’s toughest, yet most exhilarating conditions which include towering waves, howling winds, and high speed surfs. At times the fleet’s closest human neighbours will be the astronauts orbiting above them in the international space station.

The competition Kiki won was advertised in our official Clipper Race 360 souvenir magazine and entry cards were also handed out at international host ports throughout the Clipper 2013-14 Race. Participants were asked to explain why they thought they would make the ultimate crew member.

In her entry, Kiki stated: “The Clipper Race would be a life-changing and amazing experience to improve my team building skills after receiving my bachelor in 2015. It would be a great way to learn about life, both on the sea and around the world. This will be an amazing new start of my life.”

Kiki is currently studying Fashion Management in Amsterdam and will fly to our headquarters in Gosport, England, at the end of the college year to begin four weeks of intensive sailing training in preparation for her challenge.

On her upcoming adventure, Kiki, who has sailed with her family from a young age, adds: “The Clipper Race allows you to interact with different people of all ages, cultures and countries. My aim is to have a positive contribution to both my team and the results of the race.

“This will absolutely broaden my horizon and I will get connected to people from different areas. I hope that participating in such a challenging experience like this will be very beneficial for my future.”

Welcoming Kiki into the Clipper Race crew, our founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston says: “Sailing across the Pacific Ocean is a huge challenge and one that not many people in the world can lay claim to. To complete this at such a young age will equip Kiki with skills and lessons which will last her a lifetime.

“I’m sure Kiki’s positivity will be a real asset to her crew. I wish her a memorable Clipper Race experience, and hope she finds it valuable as she starts her next chapter in life.”

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