Hundreds of Crew Allocated to International Teams

25 April 2015


More than 500 of our 2015-16 crew assembled in Portsmouth Guildhall today with their family and friends to discover which team and professional skipper they will be sailing with when the tenth edition of the Clipper Race starts on Sunday 30 August.

The twelve teams were addressed by our founder and chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston with encouraging words about the challenge and adventure that lies ahead. He commented afterwards: “This is where final preparations for the race of their lives begin. Most of the crew have almost completed their training but now they can start to develop their strategies and dynamics as a team.”

The global appeal of the Clipper Race continues to grow, with crew joining the 2015-16 edition from Korea, Lebanon, Latvia and Colombia for the first time. For the allocation ceremony, crew had travelled from all over the UK and Europe to be there to meet their skipper and team. Many more have come from as far away as Canada, Australia, South Africa, China and the USA.

Kalle Malmiharju from Finland was named among the crew on Team Huw and said: “Waiting for my name to be read out was very exciting. Even though my race doesn’t start until January 2016 for Legs 5 and 6, this is it now. It’s all beginning. I haven’t sailed with Huw yet but am looking forward to being on a boat with him and meeting the rest of my team.”

Indian crew member Dhruv Boruah, who found out he will be racing Leg 1 with Team Peter said: “I’m very excited because I really wanted to be on Peter’s crew and am so happy that it has worked out. It was very tense waiting to hear my name read out but Peter said my name quite early so that eased the tension very quickly.”

Sir Robin added: “It is important to remember that Mother Nature does not make allowances. The more the crew learn about seamanship, the safer they will be and the more they will enjoy the adventure. Over the next year they will all gain more experience and mileage in their log books than the average sailor gets in years. It will be fantastic at times, frustrating at others, but overall it will be a life fulfilling experience they will never forget.”

For the first time there will be two female skippers in the race, Wendy Tuck from Australia and Diane Reid from Canada. The first French skipper Olivier Cardin and the first Ukrainian-German skipper, Igor Gotlibovych are also leading teams. At 27-years-old, Igor is the youngest of this edition’s skippers and his team will represent the Chinese Olympic sailing city of Qingdao.

Igor says: “I feel very proud to be representing Qingdao. I was born in Ukraine, grew up in Germany and have lived in England for the last eight years, so there are many places that I can call home. I can now add Qingdao to that list.

“I am thrilled to finally be allocated my crew. I have met some of them during their training but of course we did not know we would be racing around the world together in the same team. We are a cosmopolitan bunch with people from all over the world who are very excited to get to know each other and to build on Qingdao's legacy in competitive sailing.”

To read more about all of our Race Skippers, check out their profiles: Darren Ladd, Greg Miller, Jim Prendergast, Ashley Skett, Daniel Smith and Max Stunell.

We are now 93 per cent full for the 2015-16 Clipper Race. There are a few places available and you can join this epic adventure by contacting our Crew Recruitment Manager Della Parsons [email protected] or calling +44 (0)2392 526 000.

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