The Clipper Race is as much as about team spirit and the people you share this experience with as it is about sailing, and this is something that our Official Wine Sponsor Stormhoek are very supportive of.

As a result Stormhoek Wines have come up with an extra award that will form part of the prizegiving ceremony at the end of each race: the Stormhoek Social Spirit Award. Stormhoek owner and Clipper Race alumni Sue Fontannaz explained why the concept is so important to her: “The Social Spirit Award celebrates that the Clipper Race is about team spirit – about dreaming big and overcoming challenges together.

“The award will recognise those crews who make an effort to share the race experience with friends and family; it will form a united team between the circumnavigators and leggers; it is there for those crew who help other boats; who make all crew feel part of the team; who celebrate the essence of Sir Robin’s spirit of living life to the full.”

Sue sailed from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town in the 2013-14 edition of the race on board Invest Africa and wanted to develop a concept that would engage everyone at home so the nomination process is going to take place through the Stormhoek Facebook page. Outlining how the award will work, Sue said: “The Stormhoek Facebook page 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 first boat is due into the Host Port and each group can submit one entry for the crew they are supporting. Then nominations will close when the first boat finishes that particular race to give Stormhoek time to decide on which team wins the Stormhoek Social Spirit Award for that race.”

“It’s about the crew, the supporters, the leggers who've finished or are waiting to start their race, and the Clipper Race community who share the spirit of adventure and all of you who are changing your world, whether you are in a Clipper 70 crossing an ocean or supporters meeting new friends and travelling to new places.

“As a legger on the last race, I fully appreciate how important we are to the round the world crew members because we can help encourage team spirit and raise morale by sharing stories of why our own crew deserves to win such an award,” Sue added.

Sue and her husband Bernard have decided that the winning team will be awarded a Stormhoek Social Spirit pennant at the prizegiving after each leg.

According to the current Race Schedule, the first nomination period will open on 19 September, so read your crew blogs, keep up with how they are getting on, and once the fleet sets sail on Sunday make a note of any reason that you think will help them win a Stormhoek Social Spirit pennant to make your yacht look even more impressive.

When it is time to put forward your nominations the Stormhoek facebook page will send a reminder to all the supporter groups we have been provided with so you can help your team win one of the first four pennants on offer without even setting foot on a boat!

Make sure you get on facebook and ‘like’ the Stormhoek Page to be kept up to date about any deals going on for Clipper Race supporters.

Today in the Race Village, Sue and Bernard are hosting a Stormhoek Supporters Bash to get the social spirit started. The event will run from 15.30-18.00 in the Chill Out Area near the big screen so make sure you have your blue Clipper Race supporter wrist band to sample the 'social spirit' on offer from Stormhoek.

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