Excitement builds at Crew Brief Day

15 January 2017

There was plenty of excitement as hundreds of Clipper 2017-18 Race crew members came together for the first time at the Crew Briefing.

More than 200 crew, along with their supporters, gathered at the London Boat Show to learn more about their upcoming global adventure, and also get to know members of the Clipper Race team.

After a welcome from Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, new Clipper Race Director Mark Light took to the stage, and was given a rousing round of applause after announcing the intention to register for the 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, when entries open later this year.

Popular ports Cape Town and New York were also confirmed for the upcoming race, with the rest of the stopovers to be announced in the coming months.

After running through the re-fit of the twelve Clipper 70s, Mark also used his address to introduce the other new members of the Clipper Race Team; Race Crew Supporters Coordinator Ruth Charles and Deputy Race Director Dan Smith, who got to announce the exciting new feature of the Clipper 2017-18 Race – the Joker Card.

There was plenty of excited chatter in the crowd after the Joker Card was revealed. The Joker will enable teams to double the points earned on a pre-selected race, and could have a huge impact on the final standings. With that in mind, Dan advised teams “will need to choose wisely when they play their Joker Card.”

For Ruth, the day wasn’t only about introducing herself, but also meeting the hundreds of crew supporters who also attended the day. Ruth was a circumnavigator during the 2015-16 edition and knows how important friends and families are to people taking on one of the world’s greatest endurance challenges. If your crew supporters would like to hear from Ruth, please ask them to contact her here, stating which crew member they are supporting.

Safety was a big focus of the Crew Briefing. Sir Robin announced, to another round of applause, that every crew member will be allocated a personal AIS beacon for the Clipper 2017-18 Race. More information about this will be revealed in the near future.

Going into the Crew Brief Day, there were only five round the world places available for the 2017-18 edition of the race. The enthusiasm of the crew already signed up was high throughout the day, with all present excited about joining the exclusive club of everyday people have been turned into ocean racers by the Clipper Race over the past twenty years.

“It’s always exciting to see our crew starting their Clipper Race journey,” says Sir Robin.

“Many have selected specific legs which include the world’s toughest oceans while others are hoping to become circumnavigators, which is still a very rare and incredibly tough feat. Even today, more people have climbed Mount Everest than have raced around the world.”

“This will be the eleventh edition of the race and I still get the same buzz watching our crew as they develop into competent and experienced sailors.”

After the official briefing, crew and supporters got a chance to mingle and chat with Clipper Race Partners Elliot Brown, Unicef, Marlow, Hyde, Sta-lok, Marine Travel, Coppercoat, Arthur J Gallagher at the Stormhoek Wine reception.

Want to be a part of this adventurous group of people? There are still limited opportunities to be a part of the Clipper 2017-18 Race Crew. If you would like to take on Mother Nature and race the world’s oceans, apply here.

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