Clippers parade on Thames before 40,000-mile round-world race as RNLI waves them off

One of 12 clippers in the Round the World Yacht Race parading on Thames before setting off from St

One of 12 clippers in the Round the World Yacht Race parading on Thames before setting off from St Katharine's Docks on 40,000-mile circumnavigation [Photo: onEdition] - Credit: onEdition

A dozen clippers paraded on the Thames on the Bank Holiday before setting off on their epic 40,000-mile race across the globe and back.

The 70ft yachts went through Tower Bridge, which specially opened for the parade that passed Canary Wharf, Greenwich, the O2, the Royal Docks and the Thames Barrier on its way for the starting line at Southend Pier.

There to wave them off at Tower Bridge as they set sail from St Katharine’s Docks were RNLI crews from Tower lifeboat station—just making sure everything was ship-shape.

“The men and women racing around the globe must be prepared to face anything the ocean has to throws at them,” RNLI’s Thames Operations manager Neil Withers said. “It’s an epic adventure and I’ve nothing but respect for them.”

He should know. Tower Lifeboat station under his wing is the busiest in the British Isles, launching 543 times last year alone, rescuing 104 people and saving 16 lives.


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