Uniquely Singapore, the yacht that will represent Singapore in the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race was officially named this week

The sun was shining at the historic St Katharine Docks in London on Wednesday 16 March, as Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong christened the new 68ft yacht, Uniquely Singapore.

Designed by Ed Dubois, the yacht is the fourth to be launched for the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race that will set sail from Liverpool on 18 September this year. For ten months the clipper yachts will embark on a 35,000 nautical mile round the world race from the UK to Europe, South America, South Africa, Western Australia, Singapore, China, Japan and North America.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures and the first non-stop round the world sailor, spoke to the crowd: “We are delighted that Singapore has joined in this enterprise, but, bearing in mind Singapore’s history, we cannot say we are surprised. It is typical of Singapore to seek a difficult challenge and to confront it head on.”

The sound of the drums and dance of the Singaporean dragons welcomed Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong as he arrived onto the pontoon. And the crowd cheered after the Minister cut the ceremonial ribbon that sent the bottle of champagne smashing onto the bright red bow of Uniquely Singapore.

Over thirty Singaporeans have signed up to take part in the Clipper 05-06 Race, and come from a variety of backgrounds. The crew for Uniquely Singapore ranges from experienced sailors to complete novices.

Joining the crew is Adrian Yap, a 25- year-old deaf scholar from Singapore who is a regular adventurer. He climbs mountains, runs marathons, dives and competes in dragon boat races. Another crewmember is Lynette Leong, Creative Director for a media company, who had original intentions to sail with her husband two-handed, non-stop around the world. Now aboard Uniquely Singapore, she and her husband plan to put Singapore on the map for “extreme sailing”.

The race encourages people of all ages and levels of experience to participate. It costs £28,500 to do the full circumnavigation or between £3,250 and £3,950 to do just one leg. Many of the crew for Uniquely Singapore will be making sacrifices to take part, such as leaving their job and families, or even selling their business to generate the funds.

Uniquely Singapore will participate against nine other global cities covering seven legs as they circumnavigate around the world. Other entries for the race will be from Liverpool and Glasgow in the UK, Fremantle in Western Australia, Durban in South Africa, and the Channel Island of Jersey. Six more yachts will be launched before the race.

Sentosa and PSA International are the first two race partners of Uniquely Singapore, supported by Singapore Tourism Board to promote the cultural uniqueness Singapore has to offer.