The face of Clipper 2013

The first of the Clipper Race’s new fleet of twelve 70-foot ocean racing yachts has arrived in Gosport to undergo its final fit out, marking the start of a new era for the race.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Founder and Chairman of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, said: “This is a very exciting time for the Clipper Race. We are pleased to have taken delivery of the first boat and looking forward to completing our company trials in home waters.”

Clipper Ventures commissioned Hamble-based naval architect Tony Castro to design the new fleet, which features the third generation of Clipper Race yachts, replacing the earlier generation 68-foot yachts which will continue to be used for training.

The twelve new yachts will create the world’s biggest matched fleet of large ocean racing yachts.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht race is the longest at 40,000 miles. The ninth edition of the unique biennial event starts in summer 2013 and will take almost a year to complete. It is the only race to train amateurs to cross some of the world’s most challenging oceans.

Clipper Race Logistics Partner PSP transported the first Clipper 70 from China and the second is already en route. Each was loaded onto a vessel in Qingdao and transferred by sea to Felixstowe in Suffolk, where the mast and rigging was fitted locally before the yachts left for Clipper Race HQ in Gosport.

Managing Director of Fareham-based PSP, Frank Dixie, said: “As a trenchant supporter of the marine industry and the sport of sailing, we are honoured to bring these yachts to the UK. The Clipper 70s will form a part of sailing history and to be a part of that is fantastic.”