As the Atlantic Trade Winds Race draws ever closer to its Rio de Janeiro finish, it is time to open nominations for the first Stormhoek Social Spirit Award of the Clipper 2015-16 Race.

This is a new prize that has been introduced by our Official Wine Partner Stormhoek, and will be awarded at the end of each race to the crew who have shown great team and social spirit.

This unique prize is a way for every teams’ friends, family and ‘leggers’ to get involved because they will be the ones nominating their team through the supporters’ pages on Facebook.

The concept came from Sue Fontannaz who raced from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town in Leg 2 of the last Clipper Race and whose husband Bernard owns Stormhoek Wines. Sue wanted a way to engage with crew who aren’t going all the way round the world and all crew supporters, by giving them the chance to help their team win a pennant for their boat. Sue explains: “The Stormhoek Social Spirit Award is a way for friends and family to show their support for the crew by nominating their team to win it.

“The crew on the Clipper Race are living their dream. On board you overcome many challenges together and I like the idea of giving all the supporters back home the chance to spur their team on and feel like they are part of the journey together.

“At the official prizegiving ceremony at the end of each race, the winning team will be awarded a Stormhoek Social Spirit pennant to decorate their boat with. It will be extra special for the crew because they know they have been nominated by their friends and family who are following their adventures from afar.”

The nomination process will take place through the Stormhoek Facebook page. Stormhoek Wines will send an invitation to all the Clipper Race crew friends and family groups asking them to submit ideas about why they think their team should be nominated for the Social Spirit Award.

Nominations will open one week before the arrival window at every Host Port and each group can submit one entry for the crew they are supporting, thereby encouraging discussions in the supporters’ Facebook pages in order to decide the best reason for nominating that particular team.

In this case, it was predicted that the first yacht would arrive into Rio de Janeiro on 27 September so the nomination period will open tomorrow (Saturday 19 September). Nominations will close when the first boat arrives in Rio, or wherever the Host Port is for all subsequent races. So it is time to get thinking and nominating.

Tomorrow each of the team supporters’ pages will be invited to nominate their team on Facebook. Make sure you get on Facebook and ‘like’ the Stormhoek Page to be kept up to date about the Social Spirit Award and any deals going on for Clipper Race supporters.

Help your team win one of the first four pennants on offer without even setting foot on a boat!

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