#ClipperRace - Anticipation is building in Liverpool’s Albert Dock with just two days before the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet line up on the River Mersey to start the 2017-18 edition of the 40,000-nautical-mile race around the globe.
Yesterday’s (Thursday 17 August) yacht naming ceremony kicked off the festivities with Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson joining Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Liverpool 2018 skipper Lance Shepherd on the bow of the yacht for a Champagne moment.
“Liverpool is a maritime city, it is steeped in maritime history,” said Mayor Anderson. “There is a real affinity with the ocean. We have and always had that special bond with the sea.
“You will take the brand of Liverpool across the globe and you will take with it the spirit of Liverpool. Good luck to you all!”
Visit Seattle, PSP Logistics and HotelPlanner.com — skippered by Derry man Conall Morrison — also took to the event pontoon in Albert Dock to formally name their team entries.
The Clipper Race fleet was also open to the public. Two of the 12 Clipper70 race yachts, UNICEF and Garmin, opened their hatches to members of the public who had the chance to get on board and have a little taste of life on a racing yacht.
For the various team crews, meanwhile, it is an exciting time with mixed feelings of apprehension and excitement.
Nicola Thurlow will be competing on GREAT Britain during the 2017-18 race when it starts on Sunday. Speaking about the countdown to the race start, she said: “It has gone very quickly! I checked the website this morning and saw the three-day countdown. We’ve been working on the boat today so at the moment I am feeling a bit hot, a bit sweaty but very excited!”
The Clipper Race starts on Sunday at 12.30pm Irish time, with coverage of the departure ceremonies and race start live streamed online from 8am via the Clipper Race website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.