Today Sunday 13 September the 10 yachts in the Clipper Round the World Race departed from Hull and Humber with the Cork Clipper in the lead. The race started at 1400 off Hull with Cork second on the start line but nosing in front within minutes of the start. This leg will bring them down the North Sea through the English Channel and into the Bay of Biscay to La Rochelle where their estimated date of arrival is Friday 18 September.
The race will then leave La Rochelle on Tuesday 22 September to cross the Atlantic to Rio de Janeiro and then Capetown, Freemantle, Singapore, Qingdao, San Francisco, Jamaica, New York and Nova Scotia before arriving in Kinsale in July 2010. The race will finish back in Hull on 17 July 2010. Waves as high as ten storey buildings, sea sickness, hot sun, freezing cold and icebergs, are awaiting the amateur crew onboard the 68ft yacht . Around half of them have no previous sailing experience – but what all of them have in common is that they have put their everyday lives as air traffic controllers, interior designers, taxi drivers, lawyers, and students on hold to take on this incredible challenge.
The Cork Clipper project is funded by Fáilte Ireland, Cork City Council and Cork County Council with the main objective of promoting Cork as a tourism and business destination around the world. Working alongside Tourism Ireland, Cork will be promoted to consumers, trade and the media in key markets that the race visits. The culmination of the project will be the arrival of the 10 yachts in the Clipper Race to Kinsale in July 2010 for 8 days of festivities which will showcase Ireland to a global market. More than 212 million people worldwide follow the Clipper adventure through television, print media, radio and online. Mayor of County Cork Cllr Derry Canty and Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork City Cllr Laura McGonigle wished the crew farewell at a ceremony onboard before the race start. Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Derry Canty said ‘We are immensely proud of our team and do not underestimate the challenge that they are undertaking.
We wish them a safe trip around the world and eagerly look forward to welcoming them on the dock in Kinsale in July 2010’ ‘The crew of the Cork Clipper will be fantastic ambassadors for Cork and Ireland promoting us at all the stopovers around the world. They will be working with Tourism Ireland to encourage people to visit Cork during the Clipper event in July 2010.’ Stated Cllr Laura McGonigle, Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork. The Clipper Race was the dream of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo non-stop around the world. Forty years ago when he set that record he pledged to make sailing more accessible and the Clipper 09-10 race will be the seventh time his teams of amateur sailors will circumnavigate the planet.