The countdown to the start of the Clipper 09-10 race has been started at the London International Boat Show. Sponsors and suppliers were on hand for the launch.
Terry Hodgkinson, Chairman of Yorkshire Forward, who are sponsoring the Hull & Humber entry said, “We had a very positive experience in the Clipper 07-08 Race, not only performing well on the water, but also boosting business with trade missions to relevant ports of call and bringing local economic benefit through hosting the fleet. I am confident we can build on this success even further during Clipper 09-10.
“I am looking forward to personally welcoming the race, its participants and visitors to the Humber for the race start and finish. We have superb venues and plan to put on a spectacular events programme when Clipper 09-10 sails into our region.”
The race will stop at 14 ports during the circumnavigation. As well as allowing port sponsors to showcase their tourism offerings, the stopovers provide an opportunity for the ten international team sponsors, the fleet sponsors and official suppliers to develop trade links and do business with overseas organisations.
Also on the Clipper Race stand today were representatives from five of the official suppliers to the Clipper 09-10 Race: Hyde Sails, Marlow Ropes and Official Technical Clothing Supplier, Henri Lloyd; MarineTrack, who will supply the tracking software to allow the fleet to automatically report their positions at sea; and The Marine Travel Company, who will help crews and their friends and family with their travel requirements during the race. There in spirit was the Official Whisky Partner, Benromach, whose sponsorship of the fleet was announced at the 2008 London International Boat Show.
Race Director Joff Bailey said, “We are developing long term partnerships with the people and companies we work with. For all of the Official Suppliers who are here with us today – and those who aren’t – this marks the next stage in an ever-lengthening partnership and we look forward to those continuing in the future.”
Joff continues, “We have already announced a number of entries for Clipper 09-10. Uniquely Singapore, sponsored by Keppel Corporation with Singapore Tourism Board as Team Partner, will compete in both Clipper 09-10 and Clipper 11-12, as will Qingdao, sponsored by the host city for the sailing events at last year’s Beijing Olympics. For both teams that will be a four-race partnership. California will be making her debut appearance in the race this year. The entry, backed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, is the result of a hugely successful stopover in Santa Cruz during Clipper 07-08, the first time the race had ever visited the state. And, of course, our partnership with Hull and Humber continues to go from strength to strength.
“In the coming months we will be announcing more Team Sponsors and Official Suppliers, unveiling the ten exceptional skippers who will lead the teams, and confirm the final route for what is widely accepted as one of the world’s toughest challenges.”