London and Hong Kong, today announced their participation in the Clipper 2002 Round The World Yacht Race

Trade groups representing two of the world’s major cities, London and Hong Kong, today announced their participation in the Clipper 2002 Round The World Yacht Race. Each will adopt one of a fleet of eight, identical 60ft racing yachts, to be called London Clipper and Hong Kong Clipper respectively. Equipped with a professional skipper and an amateur crew of 15, the yachts will do battle against those of six other cities: Liverpool, Cape Town, Bristol, Glasgow, plus two others yet to declare. This six-leg, 16-port, 35,500-mile race will begin from Liverpool, UK, on 27 October and return there 11 months later in September 2003.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, record-breaking sailor, founder of the Clipper racing series and chairman of race organiser Clipper Ventures plc, commented: “This is the first time we have invited international cities to participate in the race and we are delighted by the response. Hong Kong is one of the world’s greatest ports, one its most distinctive cities and most vibrant business centres. Political changes have not disturbed its progress, and we are pleased that Invest Hong Kong has chosen the Clipper 2002 Round the World Yacht Race to promote the city’s burgeoning attractions. It is also pleasing that Hong Kong will once again be an important host port and will help us celebrate the halfway point of the race.”

Speaking to investors about the values of these sponsorship deals to Clipper Ventures plc, Sir Robin said: “If all the yacht-based sponsorship opportunities are secured, the two deals could generate revenues of over ‘500,000. This would be good business for the company. London and Hong Kong are both regional powerhouses and we expect our relationship with them to lead to other, attractive opportunities.”

London First and Invest Hong Kong will each be helping to find ten local companies prepared to sponsor their yachts to the tune of ‘25,000. In return, the sponsors will be offered a host of advertising and promotional opportunities connected with the yacht and with the race’s host ports worldwide.

Crewmembers participating in Clipper 2002 will pay ‘26,500 for the entire circumnavigation. Alternatively, they can participate in just one of the six legs. Over 60 per cent of crew berths have already been taken but applications are still welcome from London and Hong Kong residents with a taste for adventure. Age is no barrier providing candidates are in good health. Successful applicants, with or without sailing experience, will undergo a thorough training programme.