The Clipper Round The World Yacht Race is the longest ocean race in which 12 teams spend a year travelling the globe at 40,000 nautical miles – featuring 700 participants over its eight stages.
The salient features of the race are:
- On each of the 70ft yachts, only the skipper is professional. Other crew members are all amateurs.
- Around 40% of participants had never sailed when they signed up.
- Teachers, doctors, IT workers, students and an Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter are all among those taking part.
- The youngest participant is 18 and the oldest is 74.
- More than half of those taking part – 441 people – are from Britain.
- Some crew members will be on board the yachts for the whole course of the journey, while others will compete only in certain stages.
The first leg of race will start off Southend at 12:30 BST on Monday and teams will travel 6,000 miles to Brazil’s Rio De Janeiro. From Brazil, the yachts will go on to South Africa. Then to Albany in Western Australia. From there to Queensland, and on to Vietnam and China. They will continue to Seattle and from there to New York via Panama. The final leg will see the yachts travel from New York back to London, where they are due at the end of July next year.