LMAX Exchange Leads The Fleet Out of Southend at the Start of the Clipper Race 2015-16

0

The LMAX Exchange (centre) and Great Britain yacht, (left) head off at the start of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race at Southend Pier. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 31, 2015. (Photo by John Walton/PA Wire)

The LMAX Exchange (centre) and Great Britain yacht, (left) head off at the start of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race at Southend Pier. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 31, 2015. (Photo by John Walton/PA Wire)

31 AUGUST 2015

And they’re off!!  The Clipper 2015-16 Race is officially underway after a wet but wonderful start off the English coastal town of Southend.

For some crew, it felt like this day would never come after all the months of training and week of anticipation and excitement in the Race Village at St Katharine Docks, London.

The send-off yesterday was phenomenal, with crew past, present and future, plus tens of thousands of race supporters lining the banks of the River Thames for the Parade of Sail – and not forgetting everyone in the spectator boats on the water. Thank you for making the day so special for all the crew, Skippers and the Clipper Race family.

From the Brazilian dancers to drummers performing up the mast, it was a day to remember and the perfect start to this great adventure.  Tower Bridge lifted twice for the fleet’s Parade of Sail with GREAT Britain leading the way out of its home port of London.

Amid all the celebrations and party atmosphere, there was a poignant moment during the Blessing of the Fleet when the Sailors’ Society Chaplain read from a bible that Visit Seattle will be taking round the world.  This bible was a gift from Sir Robin to Skipper Huw Fernie’s grandfather before his own circumnavigation many years ago. Now Huw and Visit Seattle have the bible on board for its second round the world voyage, as a tribute to his grandfather.

There was also our first Clipper 2015-16 Race proposal! As Mission Performance took to the stage on the Main Pontoon during the farewell ceremony, a cry came out from the crowd, Ali Hudson burst into tears on the stage and as everyone looked up, her partner John Dyer waved a poster that said “Ali, will you marry me?!”

Now, back to the sailing…

Race 1 got underway at 1130 UTC and was broadcast live by our Director of Communications Jonathan Levy using Periscope. To watch this video and the interviews with Sir Robin, Race Director Justin Taylor and Deputy Race Director Mark Light, click here.  This is a new app that the communications team will be using in Host Ports throughout the race and it allows us to broadcast live footage from our mobile phones. When this is happening alerts and reminders will be sent out from our Clipper Race Twitter account.

A cannon was fired by officials from Benfleet Yacht Club to mark the start of the tenth edition of the Clipper Race and LMAX Exchange, led by our first ever French Skipper Olivier Cardin, was the first yacht over the start line. It was quickly followed by GREAT Britain and Da Nang – Viet Nam on this 5,186 nautical mile journey to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  For the full story click here.

Tomorrow we will be sending out the first daily report from the first day’s racing. These will be sent to you every day while the fleet is at sea until the twelfth yacht arrives into each Host Port.  The daily updates will then begin again the day after the next race starts.

We have many ways for you to keep up to date with the race, not least is using our Race Viewer.  So for details on how you can be kept up to speed, please click here.

Comments are closed.