Clipper fleet eye 2015 Sydney to Hobart

Over a year out from the 2015 Sydney to Hobart, the Clipper Round the World Yacht event have announced their intention to again include the iconic Australian race event in their 40,000 nautical mile global odyssey.

The 12-boat Clipper fleet plus two training boats contested the Sydney to Hobart in 2013, though there wasn’t a large Australian presence among the different crews.

There will be a bigger local contingent in the 2015-16 Clipper race, after the two training boats were left behind in Sydney to encourage more local participation in the event, which teams amateur sailors with professional skippers.

One of those training boats, Clipper Ventures 10, will tackle this year’s Sydney to Hobart, with ten Australians and eight overseas sailors aboard.

Although they didn’t feature in the upper reaches of the line and handicap honours standings of the 2013 Hobart race, the Clipper fleet added colour to the event and contained sailors from countries that had never been represented in it in the past,

That trend continues this year, with the first South Korean to contest the race, aboard Clipper Ventures 10.

The multi-month Clipper event will include three Australian races, from Albany to Sydney in early December, the Sydney to Hobart starting on Boxing Day, and Hobart to a yet to be confirmed Eastern Australian port, commencing in mid-January.

“We are very excited to include the Sydney to Hobart as part of our AustralIan leg in the 2015-16 Clipper Race series,” said race chairman and founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world,

“This coast-to-cast leg is very popular with Australians, with a three-race series which includes the Sydney to Hobart classic.”

Plenty of people from around the world have travelled to Australia to train for the Clipper event.

“We actually have crews from all over the world coming,” Kirsty Whyte managing director of Clipper Ventures Australia, told AAP.

“It’s not just the Aussies taking advantage of our training.

“I had a guy from the UK who flew out just for a week to sail here.

“We have trainees from New Zealand, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, the UK.

“I have got people signed up to train from the USA and Canada in the first quarter of next year.”

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