Monday, 27 July 2015: A special contract signing ceremony today has finalised a sponsorship agreement for the Vietnamese city of Da Nang to be a Team Sponsor and the official South East Asia Host Port of the 2015-16 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the longest ocean race around the planet at over 40,000 nautical miles.
The team entry will be called Da Nang-Vietnam and will represent the central Vietnamese coastal city, supported by local business partners and regional government. This will be the first time in the event’s 19-year history that a Vietnamese city has participated in the biennial Clipper Race.
The official race contract was signed on behalf of Da Nang by Mr Dang Viet Dung, Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee, and on behalf of Clipper Ventures, the UK based operator of the Clipper Race, by Mr David Cusworth, the company’s Crew Recruitment and Development Director.
Mr Dang Viet Dung stated at the ceremony: “Da Nang is extremely proud to be the South East Asia Host Port and Team Sponsor of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race. We are a young and dynamic city willing to try and take on a challenge, in the same spirit of all the sailors taking on the Clipper Race.”
Da Nang is participating in the tenth edition of the unique global event which trains amateur crew to race across the world’s most challenging oceans with professional skippers aboard twelve identical 70-foot ocean racing yachts.
Mr Cusworth presented details of the race and the benefits it will bring to Da Nang. He said: “I know the race will showcase Da Nang to the world through the Clipper Race and our crew will be very excited to learn they are coming to this beautiful part of Vietnam.”
Mr Dang Viet Dung confirmed that the city plans to take full advantage of the opportunity to promote tourism and trade through its participation in the Clipper 2015-16 Race. He added: “As a relatively new destination, we hope to use the Clipper Race’s global reach to present Da Nang to potential new tourist markets in key locations along the race route – including Australia, Europe and the USA – to learn more about our culture and visit our city.
“There are also many advantages for the travel industry to develop Da Nang sustainably so we will be highlighting those investment opportunities. With a boost to tourism, we can attract investment and upgrade infrastructure and service quality.”
Legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the founder and Chairman of the Clipper Race, welcomed today’s official announcement following the contract signing. He said: “We are thrilled to be taking the Clipper Race to the Vietnamese City of Da Nang for the first time.
“Da Nang will discover that we provide a powerful platform for boosting international trade, investment, economic impact and tourism, together with enhanced social, cultural and diplomatic relations.”
The professional skipper who will lead the Da Nang–Vietnam team has been revealed as Wendy Tuck, 50, from Sydney Australia. Wendy is currently participating in a training race with her crew in the English Channel and sent this message. She said: “I am really excited to be the skipper of a first-time sponsor, and am really looking forward to seeing the fantastic city of Da Nang.
“It is going to be interesting to learn more about the Vietnamese culture through the sponsorship, and also help to strengthen links between Vietnam and Australia – a key tourism market for the country.”
The Clipper Race fleet is estimated to arrive in Da Nang in mid-February 2016 at the end of Race 7 from Australia in the 14-race global series. Sir Robin added: “We look forward to working with the Da Nang People’s Committee to help them achieve their global objectives and I wish skipper Wendy and the Da Nang–Vietnam team a safe and competitive race.”
Throughout the Clipper Race, which will visit 14 ports on six different continents, Da Nang will connect with investors, tourism representatives and travel agencies at events in different cities to promote tourism and investment in the city.
Over the last ten years, Da Nang, the fourth largest city in Vietnam which marks the halfway point between the capital, Hanoi, in the north, and Ho Chi Minh City in the south, has opened a series of 5-star beach resorts, an international flight network and has won various international tourism awards.
The Clipper 2015-16 Race starts on 30 August 2015 in London and will race to Rio de Janeiro – Brazil; Cape Town – South Africa; Albany, Sydney, Hobart, and the Whitsundays – Australia, before reaching Da Nang. The race will then continue to Qingdao – China, Seattle, and New York – USA via Panama; Derry-Londonderry – Northern Ireland and another European port before returning to London on 30 July 2016.