It's departure day here at The Wharf, DC and teams are making the final preparations after a truly awesome first-time stopover in the US capital.

The fleet of eleven stripped back racing yachts arrived at The Wharf, Washington, DC last Monday (10 June), completing its twelfth race, suitably named the Come Sea DC Cup, and marking the first visit to the city in the 28-year history of the Clipper Race.

Image: The Washington, DC yacht berthed in the marina

The Race Village, which has filled The Wharf’s waterfront for the best part of a week, has seen thousands of locals visit and get involved in the action. Three days of open boats saw over 2,100 visitors to the boats that over 700 Race Crew have called home throughout the circumnavigation. Shown around by Race Crew, it was quick fire questions about life on board as visitors were left in awe at the conditions in which racers live as they sail around the world.

Image: Locals and tourists stepped on board Clipper Race yachts

And the Clipper Race clearly made its mark on the nation’s capital, with over 2,000 enquiries to find out more about how to get involved in the next edition of the race made during the stopover.

Image: The Clipper Race dome at The Wharf

The super Host Port and Team Partners Events DC have put on quite a show for the crew in town, with live music, art installations, taste tests, family fun activities and plenty of stash up for grabs through the week’s packed agenda.

And in a right usually reserved for the Presidents and celebs alike, the Skipper of home boat Washington, DC Hannah Brewis got the opportunity to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals game.

Image: Hannah Brewis

It was a vibrant and colourful stopover that made history in the city. 27-year-old Hannah Brewis has Skippered the Washington, DC yacht around the world, and said of finally sailing into the Home Port of her boat: “The Washington DC stopover has exceeded expectations. It has been an amazing stopover. We’ve done so much, seen so many things, met so many people. I don’t know if I will ever have this feeling ever again.”

Her First Mate, Ella Hebron added: “Events DC has been an incredible sponsor right from the start. They have done so much for the crew, supporters, and for me and Hannah. Events DC and Angie have been fantastic. She’s supported us the whole way through the race. It’s delightful to have someone so invested in the race, and look after us. We’re excited to be here and it’s a great partnership.”

Max Rivers, who heads up Our Isles and Oceans yacht as Skipper said: “DC is great! I saw some real pieces of history. I saw the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and the Magna Carta. It’s fantastic to experience history at your fingertips.”

Image: Activities including live art murals at the Wharf

Laura Hampton, First Mate on UNICEF said of the stopover: “I love just being in the city and cycling around. It was really cool to go to the Washington Nationals game with Events DC and watch Skipper Hannah throw the first pitch!”

Race Crew on board Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, Jaci Smith who hails from Wyoming, USA, said: “Coming into Washington DC, the capital of the United States, via the Potomac River was such a prestigious experience. I feel privileged to arrive here via the waterfront, like so many explorers before me. I have never visited my capital and have been left so proud of how beautiful this region is.”

For now, it’s almost time to say farewell and thank you to the city as the fleet prepares to head to the starting line of Race 13: Oban Atlantic Homecoming. The penultimate race of over 3,000nm will end in Oban, Scotland from the 12 July. Locals and visitors to DC can come and wave off the fleet this evening (25 June) from 6pm at The Wharf, complete with live music, fireworks and a marching band.

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