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Clipper Race Skippers Revealed As Preparations For 2019-20 Edition Ramp Up

22nd March 2019
Clipper Race Skippers Revealed As Preparations For 2019-20 Edition Ramp Up Photo: Clipper Ventures

#ClipperRace - Organisers of the Clipper Race have announced the 11 skippers who will lead teams in the 2019-20 edition of the round-the-world race from this August.

“Not many people are capable of racing and leading a team in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race,” said race co-founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

“As well as being excellent sailors who are proven in taking on the planet’s most hostile environments, Clipper Race skippers must also be outstanding instructors, exceptional motivators, and strong role models.

“They will need to be calm and patient under pressure, and understand all types of personalities.”

All 11 skippers begin this week with an extensive training schedule ahead with less than five months till their boats set off on the first leg from the UK to South America.

They include Ben Keitch from Sussex, whose three decades of sailing experience include leading novice crews on ocean crossings; Mark Burkes from Worcester, a veteran of the Clipper, Fastnet and the Sydney Hobart races; and former Unicef crew Seumas Kellock from Edinburgh.

Representing Cape Town in South Africa are Nick Leggatt, a sailor with more than 280,000 nautical miles and three circumnavigations in his log book, and David ‘Wavy’ Immelman, a Yachtmaster instructor.

Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez from Galicia will be the Clipper Race’s first ever Spanish skipper, and brings a wealth of national and European championship sailing experience.

Ian Wiggin from Plymouth, Chris Brooks from Essex, Josh Stickland from Southampton, Mike Surridge from West Sussex and Guy Waites from Yorkshire round out the field.

Published in Clipper Race
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is undoubtedly one of the greatest ocean adventures on the planet, also regarded as one of its toughest endurance challenges. Taking almost a year to complete, it consists of eleven teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.

This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to train drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest and most remote conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 76.

Now in its twelfth edition, the Clipper 2019-20 Race started from London, UK, on 02 September 2019.


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