Round-the-World-Race starts on Sunday

The ten stripped-down 68 foot ocean racing yachts sailed past The Deep, the iconic ‘submarium’ visitor attraction in Hull, East Yorkshire, UK, in readiness for the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race.

“Our journey up here was good, with no shortage of wind,” said Piers Dudin the skipper of the home port entry Hull & Humber, commenting on the gale force winds the fleet experienced on their delivery to the Humber. “All the crews on all the boats managed the conditions really well and are arrival in Grimsby was great and we received a really nice welcome.”

“Now it’s great to be in Hull,” he added. “The sun is out and all the flags are flying and there’s a real buzz amongst all the teams already. We’re all looking forward to the week ahead and the start on Sunday.”

The race, which starts at 1400 BST on September 13, is the only race in the world where the crews come from all walks of life, all ages and with all levels of experience. Prior to their training, some 40 percent of the crews had never so much as stepped aboard a sailing yacht in their lives.

Ahead lies a 10-month-long, 35,000 mile course that will take the race to France before crossing to Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, China, California, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Cape Breton Island, Cork and the Netherlands. The race will make its triumphant return to the Humber on July 17 2010.

The Clipper Race is the brainchild of legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail non-stop single handed around the world. He wanted to open the sport of long distance sailing to all and allow others to experience the challenges of ocean racing.

More than 400 crew have signed up for this challenge of a lifetime. Some will complete a full circumnavigation while others will race one or a combination of the seven legs available.

Each Clipper yacht is entered by a city, region or country and sponsors use the event to showcase themselves to the world. On the last running of the Clipper Race, more than 212 million people worldwide followed the adventure through television, print media, radio and on-line.

The fleet’s arrival in Hull marked the start of a week of festivities that include a sea shanty festival, international food festival and a music festival including performances from Peter Andre, and JLS. On Sunday 13 September, the world famous Red Arrows aerobatic display team will be saluting the sailors as they take to the River Humber and prepare for the off.