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World’s Longest Ocean Race To Arrive For First-Time In Airlie Beach, Whitsundays, This Weekend

January 9, 2016 Sports No Comments Email Email

Over 225 international amateur crew and skippers competing on board twelve 70ft racing yachts in the famous Clipper Round the World Yacht Race are scheduled to arrive in Airlie Beach’s Abell Point Marina this weekend after completing 18,000 of its 40,000 mile, 11-month challenge, the world’s longest ocean endurance adventure.The teams are currently racing from Hobart after competing in the toughest Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in over a decade. Over a third of the overall fleet were forced to retire in rough weather but all twelve Clipper Race teams endured the conditions to complete the race unscathed.

Arriving in the Whitsundays for the first time in its 20 year history, the biennial Clipper Race is the biggest international yacht race to ever visit the Whitsundays and is expected to attract huge crowds and create a significant economic impact in the region.

Compelling human interest characters include first Australian female Skipper Wendy Tuck, who won the Clipper Race class in the Sydney Hobart Race, and Nicolette Horak, a chartered accountant and amateur sailor from Mackay who is sailing home after joining the race in Cape Town.

WHERE: Abell Point Marina,
Shingley Dr, Airlie Beach QLD 4802
South Marina, Pontoon M1 – M12
WHEN: Monday, 11 January 2016
Boats expected to arrive throughout Saturday overnight and Sunday and will be available in time for Monday news shows. Latest ETA’s are updated regularly here:
We can provide free to use footage of arrivals on request.
Wendy Tuck – the race’s first Australian female skipper and eleven other professional Skippers who lead each team of amateur crew
-Clipper Race Director Justin Taylor
-Abell Point Marina Business Development Manager Luke McCaul
–225+ amateur crew aged 18 to 70+ representing 24 different nationalities (includes most local crew member Nicolette Horak, a charted accountant from Mackay, as well as other Australians and many compelling human interest stories)

Divided into eight separate legs and 14 individually scored races, the Whitsundays marks the end of the All Australian fourth leg which started in Albany, WA and included the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. From Abell Point Marina the fleet will race 4,310 nautical miles to Da Nang, Vietnam.

At this stage in the race, teams have crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice, the Southern Ocean and a couple of days ago they completed their third crossing of the notorious Bass Strait in as many weeks, which threw up their most challenging conditions faced so far.

The Clipper Race is the only event on the planet that allows non-professional sailors to circumnavigate the world. 40 per cent of Clipper Race crew had no previous experience before they signed up and started their extensive training.

It was established by legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968/69 to allow anyone the chance to experience the thrill of ocean racing.
40,000 nautical miles in length, the Clipper 2015-16 Race departed London in August 2015 and returns there on 31 July 2016 meaning it takes eleven months to complete and is the world’s longest ocean race.

Busy schedule of events at Abell Point Marina including a free Community Day on Saturday 16 January where public can come and tour one of the race yachts and meet the courageous crew.

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