For the first time in the 21-year history of the Clipper Race, the biggest round-the-world ocean race, it is revealed today that Punta del Este, Uruguay, will feature as the South American Host Port for its 2017-18 edition.
After setting sail from Liverpool, UK, on Sunday 20 August, the twelve Clipper 2017-18 Race teams, crewed by amateur sailors with each yacht led by a professional skipper, will race 6,400 nautical miles through the Atlantic Ocean and arrive in Punta del Este, located on Uruguay’s southern coast between 20 to 25 September.
The announcement was made today during a press conference held at Yacht Club Punta del Este, attended by British Ambassador, Mr. Ian Duddy, Mayor of Punta del Este, Agr. Eng. Enrique Antía, Subsecretary of Tourism Ministry, Mr. Benjamín Liberoff, President of the Departmental Board, Mr. Rodrigo Blás, Prefect of Punta del Este, C/N (CP) Juan Diez, Commodore of Yacht Club Punta del Este, Acc. Juan Etcheverrito Zerboni, Honorary Secretary, Ms. Julia Arrillaga, Chief of Punta del Este´s Port, Mr. Carlos Ferreira, Chief of Maldonado´s Police, Commissar Erode Ruiz and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Clipper Race Founder and Chairman, who joined by live video link.
Commenting on the Clipper Race’s newest Host Port Partner, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said: “Punta del Este is a vibrant new stopover for the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race and I am very pleased to welcome them as a Host Port Partner.
“Having experienced all that Punta del Este has to offer first hand, I know that the city is well positioned for the Clipper Race and the fantastic Yacht Club facilities will make this a brilliant stopover for Clipper Race crew members, supporters and partners alike.
“We look forward to bringing Punta del Este, and Uruguay, to our global stage during the 2017-18 edition of the race.”
Punta del Este is one of South America’s most fashionable resorts, enjoying a prime location at the mouth of the River Plate and the Atlantic Ocean.
The city boasts a number of top beaches, fine restaurants and tourist attractions which draw local and international visitors to its shores and will use its Clipper Race exposure to position Punta del Este, and Uruguay more prominently as a must-visit tourist destination and sports capital.
The Mayor of Maldonado, Mr. Enrique Antía said: “We are filled with joy and pride to receive the Clipper Round the World Race in Punta del Este to strengthen our identity as Maldonado Sports Capital”.
Minister of Tourism and Sports, Ms. Liliam Kechichián, said: “It is an honour for Uruguay to be part of the Itinerary of the Clipper Round the World Race, which will sail many seas in the world.
“Punta del Este is especially proud to be host and stopover of this International Race, which will also be a great letter of presentation of our Country Brand “Uruguay Natural”, as it was in 1992, with that sailing boat that sailed the world embracing our flag and the name “Uruguay Natural”, brand that represents us all.
“To receive the Clipper Race will be an excellent opportunity to show not only the beauty of Punta del Este as an international tourism destination, but also the irresistible “Elf” that lives in it, and that makes everyone who visits it, to want to come back.”
The Clipper Race’s matched fleet of twelve 70-foot ocean racing yachts will be hosted by the Yacht Club Punta del Este (YCPE), which sits proudly on the popular peninsular of Punta del Este, when they arrive after completing its marathon north to south Atlantic crossing.
The YCPE holds synonymous values to the Clipper Race; it prides itself on its diversity, promotes and encourages people of all ages to learn to sail, and teaches the values of teamwork and fair play whilst encouraging self-improvement to its members.
Cr. Juan Echeverrito, Commodore of Yacht Club Punta del Este said: “In Punta del Este, in this strategic and privileged point, we are delighted to welcome the Clipper Race. We will be working together with National and Local Authorities to make the stopover in Uruguay a great success.”
The club, which is a bustling centre of yachting and social life, is established as a host port for a number of world-class yachting events including the Velux 5 Oceans.
Around 700 crew compete in the Clipper Race, from all walks of life and from all around the world, with over 40 different nationalities represented. Crew can complete the full circumnavigation, or one or more of its eight challenging legs. Approximately 40% of crew have no previous sailing experience before they start their intensive race training programme.
The Clipper 2017-18 Race, the biennial events eleventh edition, starts in Liverpool, UK, and will visit six continents. After departing Ponte del Este on 4 October, the fleet will continue on to Cape Town, Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart, the Whitsundays, Sanya and Qingdao in China, Seattle, Panama, New York, and Derry-Londonderry.