Photo: Clipper Round the World

Press Release

News Release
August 27, 2015

David Blandford
(206) 461-5806,


Visit Seattle Sails Round the World To Promote Local Tourism and Business

Clipper Yacht Will Promote Emerald City Tourism and Business Innovation in 14 Ports as it Competes in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

LONDON – This Sunday, August 30, a champagne ceremony at St. Katharine Docks in London, England, will hail the start of the 11-month Clipper Round the World Yacht Race for first-time entry Visit Seattle. Namesake of Seattle’s official destination marketing organization and first-time race sponsor, the 70-foot yacht will ply the world’s most challenging oceans and visit 14 ports-of-call in the international series – all while promoting the Emerald City as a growing international visitor destination and business hub.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which benefits Unicef, is the world’s longest ocean adventure and regarded as one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. Spanning 40,000 nautical miles, the race takes almost a year to complete and consists of 12 teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of ocean racing yachts.

Visit Seattle’s sail and hull will display the city’s skyline and include logos from co-sponsor Seattle Sports Commission, as well as host port partners the Port of Seattle’s Bell Street Marina and the Seattle Historic Waterfront Association.“The race gives us a great opportunity to take the iconic image of our skyline across the globe and helps to position our city as an exciting, international destination,” said Tom Norwalk, President & CEO of Visit Seattle. “We are excited to brand a boat with the colors of the Emerald City and our iconic skyline to help further this growth.”

As Seattle continues to develop into a world-class sports city, we are thrilled to welcome the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to the shores of Elliott Bay and our beautiful downtown,” added Ralph Morton, Executive Director of the Seattle Sports Commission, a division of Visit Seattle. “We are a city of innovation, a city that in many ways has helped shrink the world because of our airplanes, our computer software and our burning desire to make a difference. This civic ambition is shared by our yacht’s courageous crew members who are about to circumnavigate the globe.”

The race is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed prior to completing their comprehensive training program ahead of their adventure.

British Skipper Huw Fernie, 31, from Cornwall, England will lead the Visit Seattle team and circumnavigate the yacht throughout the entire race. He will help promote Seattle as a place to visit and do business, blogging daily about the around-the-word journey and ports of call. “I am proud to be representing a fast-growing destination home to some of the world’s best-known brands,” said Fernie. “As we go round the world, my team and I will be spreading the message about Seattle, its visitor attractions and expanding industry.”Seattle will be one of 14 host ports throughout the race, welcoming the crews of all competing yachts in April 2016 at the end of the Mighty Pacific Leg 6 from Qingdao, China.

The overall race route is split into a series of global races with a maximum of 12 points going to first place descending to one point for twelfth place. The team with the highest cumulative points at the end of the final race wins the series, and the Clipper Race trophy. Ports of call, in chronological order, include:

London, United Kingdom
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Cape Town, South Africa
Albany, Australia
Sydney, Australia
Hobart, Australia
Airlie Beach, Australia
Da Nang, Vietnam
Qingdao, China
Seattle, Washington
New York, USA
Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Den Helder, The Netherlands
London, United Kingdom

Follow the race @ClipperRace and the Visit Seattle yacht at @VisitSeattleRTW. Join the conversation at #ClipperRace or #VisitSeattleRTW.


About Visit Seattle:

Visit Seattle, a private, nonprofit marketing organization, has served as Seattle/King County’s official destination marketing organization (DMO) for more than 50 years. The goal of these marketing efforts is to enhance the employment opportunities and economic prosperity of the region.

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