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01 AUGUST 2017

Latest Clipper Race entry is the first ever to promote an inspirational concept rather than a brand or destination.

The Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, starting 20 August from Liverpool, UK, will feature a unique and inspirational new Team Partner, Dare To Lead, which will utilise the race’s global platform to promote and develop teamwork, determination and leadership skills for its international crew.

Dare To Lead founder Dirk van Daele, who took part as a crew member in the Clipper 2009-10 Race, explains: “When a team of people from varied backgrounds – privileged or not, experienced or novice, of any age, race or culture – grows together through the unique challenge of the Clipper Race, we believe that each individual participant will unlock their own potential to become a leader and a force for good in their personal lives, at work and in their communities.
“Corporations recognise that in each individual lies the potential to achieve greatness, and they believe that the racers who have the courage to join the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race have the potential to be successful and become leaders in their own right.”

Dirk adds: “I’m very proud to reveal the Dare To Lead team entry in the Clipper 2017-18 Race and look forward to following the powerful, awe-inspiring journeys of our crew, both on and off the race track.”

Dare To Lead, will seek to inspire the Clipper Race’s international crew who represent over 40 nationalities, to apply the life skills learnt during this ocean challenge to become catalysts for positive change in their personal lives, professional careers and social communities.

The team will also feature the welcome return of the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation Ambassadors, who will compete as crew members on the Dare To Lead team. Developed to instil confidence and leadership skills in underprivileged African youths, 17 South African ambassadors have already participated in race legs of the previous two Clipper Race editions. Each candidate has gone on to find employment or enter further education as a result of their experience, and in doing so becoming a leading example for their communities. 

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “It is refreshing to have a unique entry such as Dare To Lead in the eleventh edition of the Clipper Race. I am delighted that Dirk is continuing his long-standing association with this tremendous ocean adventure and that the Sapinda Rainbow Foundation Ambassadors will once again be joining the Clipper Race crew.

The Clipper Race is unique in its own right as being the only global sailing adventure that is raced by everyday people from all walks of life. More than 700 non-professional-sailors from around the world will compete for eleven months on a fleet of twelve identical 70-foot ocean racing yachts, each led by a professional skipper.

Leading the Dare To Lead team around the world will be Skipper Dale Smyth, 35. Born in Liverpool and now a permanent resident of South Africa, Dale is a highly skilled sailor with over 50,000 offshore nautical miles in his log book.
One of the most experienced offshore training Skippers in South Africa, he has over 17 years of experience. Dale said: “The opportunity of leading a team that is spreading such an inspiring message is one that resonates with me personally. I can’t wait to represent the Dare To Lead team and promote its exciting values around the world.”
After bidding farewell to the crowds in an exciting departure ceremony in Albert Dock in Liverpool on 20 August, the twelve teams, including Dare To Lead, will start their opening 6,400 nautical miles race on the River Mersey before making their way across the Atlantic Ocean to the first stopover port, Punta del Este, Uruguay. 

The fleet will then continue on to Cape Town, Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart, the Whitsundays, Sanya and Qingdao in China, Seattle, Panama, New York, and Derry-Londonderry, before completing the circumnavigation in Liverpool on July 28, 2018.