08 August 2019

Imagine your Korea has been revealed as the newest team entry for the Clipper 2019-20 Race and will be led by skipper Mike Surridge. The partnership is supported by the Korea Tourism Organisation, Gin-A Co. Ltd, The Korean Sailing Federation and the Yeosu Yisunsin Marina.

The partnership announcement marks a pivotal event in the development of the sport. This collaboration will promote the country as a growing mecca for sailing, both to the country’s home audience to increase participation and for sailing tourism on a global scale. Looking forward, the parties are working towards a return as both a Team and Host Port Partner in 2021-22.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Clipper Race Chairman and Co-Founder said: "I am very pleased to welcome the Korean team entry for the upcoming edition. Its coastline and 3600 islands make it a natural haven to grow its sailing culture and develop a legacy for years to come. As organisations, we are united in our values to offer more opportunities for anyone to experience the sport and we hope to continue to develop this positive partnership”.

A visit to Korea satisfies the most diverse needs of any tourists. A mixture of ancient history combined with modern architecture can be found in thriving cities in contrast to the natural scenery which includes stunning beaches, rice paddies, the highest peaks, national parks, beautiful islands and UNESCO listed heritage sites. Options to explore the country from the water are developing fast, with investment in marinas a priority for the country.

On its partnership with the Clipper Race, YOO Joon-sang, the President of the South Korean Sailing Federation says, “Sailing is the ultimate sport. Through sailing and marine sports, we wish to improve the livelihoods of Koreans, and further world citizens. By sponsoring a round the world sailing event, we want to promote world peace by showing off the beauty of Korea, the world’s last divided country.”

The Imagine your Korea team is made up of 65 crew members representing 15 different nationalities ranging from 20 to 69 years old. There will be nine circumnavigators onboard, taking part in the full 40,000 nautical mile adventure.

Leading the team is Skipper Mike Surridge, 55, originally from Canterbury, and now living in West Sussex. Since starting sailing in his early twenties, Mike has recorded in excess of 100,000 nautical miles in his log book and has extensive racing experience, taking part in five Fastnets, thirteen Round the Island Races, the ARC, and BVI Regatta to name a few. Away from the water, Mike is a keen motorcyclist and his ambition is to complete an east to west coast route 66 ride. Sailing around the world has been a long-held dream for the skipper. On the news, Mike said: “I am delighted our team is Imagine your Korea, it is such a progressive and beautiful county. I have associations with Korea through my corporate life and through friends and it is clearly not only a highly industrious place but a great new tourist destination”.

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