​One Year On: The Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival

22 January 2021

A year ago, the Clipper Race fleet was welcomed by the azure warm waters and white sandy shores of the Whitsundays after spending 19 tough days at sea racing around the coast of Australia.

Having taken on the Indian Ocean, the Roaring Forties, rounding Cape Leeuwin and negotiated the East Australian Current, the final stretch of the 4,000nm race from Fremantle saw the teams navigate through some of the Whitsundays 74 islands. Giving the crew a glimpse of the incredible sailing that is on offer throughout the region.

Tourism WhitsundaysChief Executive Officer, Natassia Wheeler, said, “The Whitsundays loves the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, we are the Heart of Sailing, there has been no better way for our region to showcase this than by hosting the globally recognised Clipper Race fleet.

“Welcoming the Clipper Race fleet at the start of 2020 was an incredible way to start the year. The Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival is a key event in driving visitation to the region, our 2020 event certainly delivered!

“We look forward to once again welcoming the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to the Whitsundays.”

At the halfway point in terms of legs completed, and with the fleet having already sailed over 20,000 nautical miles since leaving London, the Whitsundays was the perfect destination to relax, unwind and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. With an abundance of adventurous activities and places to explore, Race Crew and their supporters experienced everything from skydiving and snorkelling, to jet skiing and diving, not to mention crocodile safaris, wining and dining and some island hopping to explore all the Whitsundays has to offer.

Punta del Este crew member Philip ‘Pip’ Cledwyn, who participated in Legs 5 and 6, said: “For our circumnavigators, the start of Leg 5 is the start of the return trip, a bit like reaching the top of a hill, though in this case, it’s more like the bottom of the world.

“Airlie Beach is a wonderful place and if you’ve never been to the Whitsundays – add it to the list of ‘must-do’ places

In conjunction with the fleet arriving into Airlie Beach, the Whitsundays Regional Council hosted the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival. A week long carnival with a number of events, including the spectacular public welcome, the renowned White on Whitehaven lunch party, the wine and dine events with locals and the finale, Rodeo by the Reef, the Whitsundays showcased the very best of what the stunning region has to offer.

Nigel Jepson, Legs 4 and 5 crew on board WTC Logistics reported: “Airlie Beach was a lovely stopover with the highlights being the parade through the town on Prizegiving day and a snorkelling trip to the beautiful Whitehaven Bay with five of our Leg 5 joiners, as well as the usual crew get togethers and mingling with the other crew.”

The stopover also attracted local and international media interest including Korean news outlet, YTN for a feature on Korean team entry, Imagine Your Korea. The YTN film crew captured footage of the Clipper Race fleet preparing for the next leg of its 40,000nm journey. Speaking to the three Korean Crew Ambassadors; Seonki Chae, Inbeom Kim and YooYoun Cho, to gain more insight into what life is like on board and hear about their journey and experience with the Clipper Race so far.

The 2019-20 edition was the third time the Clipper Race has visited the Tropical Far North Queensland Region of Australian, and was hosted once again by the award winning Coral Sea Marina and Resort.

Coral Sea Marina and Resort Marketing, Sales & Service Manager, Joscelyn O'Keefe, said: “To have the Clipper Race back at Coral Sea Marina for the third time was such a positive start to 2020.

“From a marina perspective, hosting this iconic fleet helps attract boating enthusiasts to our region and hosting the race participants, support crew and all their family and friends brings the marina and town alive.

“The Whitsundays is the heart of sailing in Australia and one of the best cruising grounds in the world, so the perfect stopover for the Race Of Your Life – we hope to welcome the Clipper Race back in 2022.”

Looking for your next adventure? Wanting a different way to travel the world? Applications are open for the Clipper 2022-23 Race.

Join The Race