The Royal Albert Dock will play host to the finish of the prestigious and gruelling Clipper Round the World Yacht race in the summer next year.
Royal Albert, part of the Royals in East London will lay on race finish festivities to welcome home the fleet and the 700 crew after their 11 month, 40,000 nautical mile global journey.
The Clipper Race was founded in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop around the world. For Sir Robin, the location will hold personal significance. In February 1957 as a cadet in the Merchant Navy he joined his first ship which set sail from Royal Albert Dock to Africa.
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Sir Robin said: “Both the Clipper Race and Royal Albert Docks have global ambition and celebrating global achievement of the remarkable Clipper race crew is extremely fitting.
“Additionally, the Docks’ use of its waterways to engage people with watersports is synonymous with the way the Clipper Race provides the opportunity for people from every walk of life to take part in ocean racing.”
The Royal Albert Dock development is benefiting from £1.7billion investment from developers ABP (Advanced Business Park).
ABP chairman Xu Weiping said: “Hosting the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race Finish celebrations is the perfect opportunity for people across the globe to see the transformation of Royal Albert Dock into a new international business district. More importantly, it’s a superb way to reflect the qualities of courage and to demonstrate the confidence, commitment and investment in East London.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “We’re thrilled that next year’s Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will finish right here in the Royal Docks. Our city truly is the sporting capital of the world and this is further proof that London is open to the biggest and best sporting events.”
What’s the latest in the Clipper race?
Currently the fleet comprising 70ft long yachts is in Race Four, the Southern Ocean Leg, from Cape Town, South African and heading to Fremantle, Australia.
Divided into eight legs and between 13 and 16 individual races, participants can choose to complete the full circumnavigation or select individual legs. It is the only race in the world where the organisers supply a fleet of 11 identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper and first mate to safely guide the crew.
The challenge is then is taken on by ordinary people who have completed a rigorous training course and given all the gear to cope with the extreme conditions.
Follow the race all the way to the Royal Docks here.