St Katharine Docks to host Clipper Round the World yacht race

Chris Nelson on the grinder

Chris Nelson on the grinder - Credit: submitted

St Katharine Docks is getting ready to host the first round the world sailing event from London for 40 years.

The fleet for the Clipper Race will arrive at the historic docks near Tower Bridge on Friday afternoon to form a spectator Race Village, which will run until the 12 yachts set off on September 1, creating a spectacle on the Thames.

The yachts return nearly a year later after racing 40,000 miles and visiting 14 ports on six continents in the world’s longest ocean race.

The first leg ends in Marina da Gloria, Rio de Janeiro —the destination for the 2016 Olympic sailing events.

They then continue on via South Africa, Western Australia, Sydney, Singapore, China, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry Londonderry and the Netherlands before returning to St Katharine Docks in July 2014.

Designed to provide everyone-regardless of sailing history-the chance to experience the exhilaration of circumnavigation, the race has turned over 3,500 novices from teachers to bankers into ocean racers since its inception in 1995.

Skippered by a professional yachtsman, each team will battle to complete eight different legs over eleven months. Some crew members stay on for the whole race while others have opted to stay on for parts of the journey.

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Open over the Bank Holiday weekend, the village will offer visitors the chance to view the yachts ahead of their marathon journey and get an insight into crew life at sea.

The marina will also feature family entertainment, demonstrations, activities, food stalls, boat naming ceremonies, crew sign-up opportunities and various sponsor presentations to help get the capital into the spirit of sailing.

A giant TV screen will also be on site on race day to provide spectators with a closer view of the departure.

The Clipper Race was founded by Legendary British sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

The Race Village is open from August 24 to August 31 from 10am to 7pm.

On September 1 the Race Village is open from 9am to 5pm with a Race Crew Official Departure Ceremony from 09.30am to 10.30am and again from 10.50am to 12.25pm before the yachts depart from Tower Bridge at 1.30pm.

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