Following almost a month of racing approximately 6,000 nautical miles across the North Pacific Ocean, the competitors of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race are now counting down the days and hours until they step back on dry land at Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina, where they are expected to arrive between Friday 20 – Sunday 22 April.
The eleven teams, which include a Visit Seattle entry, have battled hurricane force winds and waves of up to 14 meters in this current race, from Qingdao, China, making it the toughest of the nine race stages completed so far since the race left the United Kingdom seven months ago.
One of the most challenging endurance events on the planet, the 40,000-nautical mile Clipper Race, which takes almost a year to complete, is the only event on the planet which trains everyday people to take on a circumnavigation, something fewer people have achieved than have climbed Mount Everest.
Established 21 years ago by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo, non-stop around the world, 40 per cent of Clipper Race crew have no previous sailing experience before signing up as full training is provided.
After setting off from Liverpool, UK, on 20 August 2017, the teams have raced to Seattle via Punta del Este, Uruguay; Cape Town, South Africa; Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart and the Whitsundays, Australia; and most recently, Sanya and Qingdao in China.
This stopover in Seattle marks the second consecutive time the Clipper Race has stopped in the city, which marks the first of two US stopovers in the race route, the next being New York via the Panama Canal. The Clipper Race will return to Liverpool on 28 July where its epic adventure concludes.
The following Clipper Race Crew are Seattle locals and available for interview:
- Shannon Dean, 54, Nurse, circumnavigating on board Visit Seattle
- Andy Farnum, 30, Photographer, Leg 6 crew on board Visit Seattle
- Marek Omilian, 53, Consultant, circumnavigating on board Visit Seattle
- Javier Roca, 58, Creative Director, Leg 6 crew on board Visit Seattle
- David Wilson, 57, Air Traffic Controller, circumnavigating on board PSP Logistics
Between 22 and 29 April, there will be a host of events and festivities open to the media and public:
Clipper Race Fleet Arrivals: Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd April
The eleven strong Clipper Race fleet, including the Visit Seattle team entry, will arrive into Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina after racing over 5000 nautical miles across the North Pacific Ocean in some of the most inhospitable conditions on the planet.
*Note: The arrival window will vary depending on the weather and conditions experienced by the teams. More precise ETAs will be available as the fleet approaches Seattle on the Clipper Race website: https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/news/article/estimated-arrival-times-to-seattle-usa *
FREE Clipper Race Open Boats:
Sunday 22 and Tuesday 24 – Friday 27 April – 10:00 – 19:00
Step on board one of the identical Clipper 70 yachts for a tour from crew members who have competed in this unique race. Have a glimpse at what life is like above and below decks to find out where the crews race, eat, sleep and navigate as they sail around the clock for up to four and a half weeks at a time.
“Women in Leadership” event in partnership with Seattle Sports Commission:
Thursday 26 April, 17:00-18:30
Clipper Connect is a business networking group created to connect like-minded professionals across the world. Teaming up with Seattle Sports Commission, this forum will focus on women in leadership and guest speakers include Visit Seattle Skipper Nikki Henderson, the youngest ever Clipper Race Skipper, and Clipper Race Founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
Port of Seattle Ocean Acidification Press Event:
Friday 27 April, 08:30 – 09:00
Seafood and Seattle go hand in hand. Monitoring and testing the waters is vital to sustain a thriving seafood industry in the city. Through its partnership with Port of Seattle, the Visit Seattle Clipper Race yacht will be engaging in pioneering scientific research when it departs Seattle to help monitor the effects of ocean acidification around the US Coast.
Along with the Port of Seattle, the Clipper Race is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as the University of Washington, to provide vital monitoring services for their Ocean Acidification Program.
Media Sail Day (Press Only):
Friday 27 April, 08:30 – 12:30
Take to the water on board the Visit Seattle team yacht. Crewed by some of the Visit Seattle crew members, who have been flying the flag for the city as they race around the globe, the morning will be a fascinating first-hand glimpse into life on board the ocean racing yachts. Interviews with crew available.
Race 10 Start:
Sunday 29 April, from 09:00 for 13:30 start
After experiencing all that Seattle has to offer, the teams will slip lines from their temporary home in Bell Harbor Marina to embark on Race 10, The US Coast-to-Coast Leg to New York via the Panama Canal. Each of the eleven teams will perform an impressive ‘parade of sail’ at midday before lining up in Seattle’s Elliott Bay where this next stage of the race will get underway.