Sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has announced a brand new fleet of 70-foot racers for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Top naval architect Tony Castro has been commissioned to design the Clipper 70 fleet that will compete in the race from 2013 onwards.
The new yachts, to be built in China and fitted out by international suppliers, will have an increased crew capacity of 22, and feature a new hull design optimised for performance that should see speeds increase to more than 30 knots in the right conditions.
Other features include twin helms, twin rudders and a six-food bowsprit which will allow for the use of a huge Code Zero sail to complement the Yankee headsails, staysail and mainsail.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is open people from all walks of life regardless of previous sailing experience.
In its 15-year history the race "has changed people’s lives and turned almost 3,000 sailing novices into experienced ocean racers", according to Knox-Johnston.
Clipper Ventures chief excective William Ward added: "Crew places on the last race sold out well in advance and Clipper 11-12 is set to do the same. We will therefore be using the 2011 London International Boat Show to launch our crew recruitment drive for Clipper 13-14 and beyond.”
The Clipper 11-12 race - the last to feature the Clipper 68 sailing the 40,000-mile (64,000 km) round-the-world course - will commence this August.