The exciting new route for the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race has been unveiled today by race founder and legendary solo sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. The addition of an eighth leg to the race delivers a second Great Cape for the non-professional crews and, at 40,000-miles, Clipper 11-12 becomes the world's longest round the world yacht race.
Sir Robin says, “The Clipper Race continues to go from strength to strength with more nationalities represented by the crew than ever before. Berths on Clipper 09-10 sold out three months before the race start, which is why we are well into planning for Clipper 11-12, even before the next race has departed.
“The popularity of the race grows as our crews recognise that there is more to life than the day to day routine. It's by achieving the tough things in life that gain you respect and a sense of personal fulfillment.”
Clipper 11-12 will be the eighth edition of the biennial event which, for the previous two races has seen the fleet take an easterly route around the world, following the trade winds and delivering some exhilarating downwind racing. Keeping with this tradition and maximizing the potential of the Clipper 68s, the Clipper 11-12 Race will follow a similar route but with the addition of a challenging new leg, taking the fleet to New Zealand and the east coast of Australia for the first time in its history. The additional leg brings the total length of the race to 40,000 miles, making Clipper the world's longest round the world yacht race.
Split into two races from Western Australia to the east coast via New Zealand, the new Australasian leg will see the fleet dip once again into the Roaring Forties. The ten internationally sponsored teams will race round Cape Leeuwin on a sleigh ride east before heading north and tackling the large ocean swells that create the famous surfing conditions found off Australia's east coast.
Clipper Race Director, Joff Bailey, says, “This new route brings our race to an even wider audience by incorporating inaugural visits to New Zealand and the east coast of Australia.
“For the crew, the Australasian leg will deliver some exhilarating racing. Not only will they encounter the strong winds of the Roaring Forties, but the route will take them further south than the course of the famous Sydney Hobart Race. Added to this will be a new, extremely tactical race north to Singapore.”
Following the stopover on Australia's east coast the teams will head to Singapore, which becomes a host port for the fifth time and sees the fleet race north via a new, tactically demanding route through the islands of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to reach Asia's sailing capital.
Starting and finishing in the UK, the Clipper 11-12 Race will cross 15 of the world's seas and oceans over the best part of a year. With stopovers on all six continents and an identical fleet of 68-foot stripped down ocean racing yachts it is the ultimate long distance match race.
Clipper 11-12 will be the eighth edition of the biennial event operated by Clipper Ventures Plc. The race was established by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give everyone, regardless of sailing experience, the opportunity to experience the exhilaration of ocean racing. More than 440 people representing 33 nations will compete in Clipper 09-10 which starts from the Humber on 13 September 2009. The only qualification for the race is the minimum age of 18 – there is no upper age limit.