After making its Host Port debut during the Clipper 2017-18 Race, Punta del Este, Uruguay, is set to return bigger and better with a debut team entry – led by Spanish Skipper Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez – in the upcoming edition of the biggest round the world yacht race.
Regarded as one of the world’s toughest challenges, the Clipper 2019-20 Race, which begins in the UK this summer, takes almost a year to complete. It is the only event of its kind which trains everyday people to make six ocean crossings, covering six continents, testing them to their absolute limit. Fewer people have sailed around the world than climbed Mount Everest, and with 40 percent of crew having no previous sailing experience before signing up, the achievement is all the more incredible.
Following a successful stopover during the last edition of the epic sailing event, the partnership will see Punta del Este, dubbed the St Tropez of South America, host the eleven-strong fleet at the end of the first Leg of the 2019-20 route. Its debut team yacht, Punta del Este, will then fly the flag for Uruguay as it continues to race around the globe.
Clipper Race Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said: “Punta del Este made its debut as a vibrant new stopover in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race and I am very pleased to reveal we will be welcoming it back not only as a Host Port, but also a Team Partner, for the 2019-20 edition.
“The city, one of the jewels of Uruguay, is well positioned for the Clipper Race. Its fantastic Yacht Club Punta del Este facilities, friendly locals and diverse tourism activities will make Punta a firm favourite for our Crew, supporters and Partners alike once again.
“We look forward to furthering the sailing legacy in Punta del Este, and Uruguay, though our global stage during the 2019-20 edition of the race.”
Punta del Este will use the partnership to develop sailing in Uruguay, a legacy which began during the last edition when Nano Antia, from Punta del Este, became the first Uruguayan Clipper Race Crew to circumnavigate the globe. It will also take advantage of the Clipper Race’s global reach to promote its exceptional tourism and to support its trade and investment initiatives.
Commodore of Yacht Club Punta del Este Juan Echeverrito said: “We are very happy to have the first ever Spanish skipper, Jeronimo Santos, leading us this year. Jeronimo is a fine man – kind, respectful, fun, and most importantly, extremely motivated to lead our team around the world. Jeronimo has been to Punta del Este before and knows just how spectacular it is. Here we will welcome him as a friend and we are sure he will be a great ambassador, and leader.
“Once again we will do everything we can to defend the title of the best stopover of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. To our team and the rest of the fleet: prepare yourselves for the challenge, be a good companion, help each other, do your best to win, and enjoy – because, after all, that is why we are alive.”
The Clipper 2019-20 Race, which will begin this summer, will see teachers, students, doctors, firefighters and retirees from 44 different countries will test themselves to their absolute limit on board the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts. The teams will race from the UK, across the Atlantic to South America; the South Atlantic to Cape Town, South Africa; across the Southern Ocean’s Roaring Forties to Fremantle, Western Australia; around to the Whitsundays on the east coast of Australia, back into the Northern Hemisphere to China where teams will race to Qingdao, via Sanya and Zhuhai; across the mighty North Pacific to the West Coast USA; to East Coast USA via the famous Panama Canal; and then it’s a final Atlantic crossing; before arriving back to the UK as fully proven ocean racers.