Clipper Ventures has announced the first two international cities to commit themselves to the 2002 edition of the Clipper Race

Clipper Ventures has announced the first two international cities to commit themselves to the 2002 edition of the Clipper Race.

The first city to throw its hat into the Clipper ring was Cape Town. Known by mariners for centuries as the Tavern of the Seas, Cape Town has played host to four of the five blue-chip round the world races and a home team will no doubt excite the sailing-mad locals.

Provided they can find ten corporate sponsors, each willing to part with £25,000 for high profile signage on the 60ft boat, an exclusively South African crew will be on the UK startline in October next year for the 36,000nm circumnavigation.

“It is most fitting that Cape Town will compete in Clipper 2002,” said Clipper ventures chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. “With the predisposition in South Africa towards competitive sport, a Cape Town team representing South Africa will surely be a big success. Our association with Cape Town as a stopover for the Clipper race is a truly successful relationship and we’re also looking forward to bringing our Around Alone race to Cape Town in December 2002.”

“The entrance into the race of a boat named after Cape Town will help to raise the profile of the City of Cape Town internationally,” said Cape Town’s acting Mayor Cllr. Brenda Walker. “It will also have a very positive impact on our local tourism industry. The City looks forward to hosting the Clipper 2002 race, when it sails into Cape Town in June 2003.”

The second city to announce participation is Glasgow. Despite claiming eighth place as their own in the 2000-edition, the city has recognised the value of the strong friendships built up at every level during the 11-month race and is keen to repeat the exercise on an international level.

Yesterday afternoon, the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Alex Mosson joined Clipper MD Richard Cooper to launch a competition to select three Glasgow residents to compete with the financial backing of the city council.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Glasgow to sail some of the most challenging oceans in the world,” said Mosson. “But one of the most exciting aspects is that this race is going to give Glaswegians the chance to get behind their team and their city as they compete against their rivals. I wish the crew every success in their training over the coming months and the race itself.”

“We are delighted that Glasgow is participating in the Clipper 2002 race,” said Richard Cooper. “The challenge of the sea and elements, and its unique route, is what makes the Clipper 2002 race one of life’s last real challenges in today’s world and we are sure that Glasgow will rise to this once again.”

At least one city from Wales and one from England are also expected to enter the race. Expect more announcements soon.