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Clipper Round The World Race 2024 Comes To Airlie Beach

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Talia Jones
Updated Mon 22 Jan 2024

A row of racing yachts lined up in a marina

World-wide racing competition, Clipper Round The World is currently in Airlie Beach! 

The Clipper Round The World race is a biyearly yacht race which ventures to eight destinations around the globe. The race gives non-experienced sailors to opportunity to pay to competitively sail around the world on custom-designed, 60-foot identical yachts. Participants undertake four weeks of training to gain the knowledge and skills needed to sail around the world for 10 months. 

There are 11 yachts involved, each with their own race team. In total there are 11 teams, over 700 crew, and they cover 40,000 nautical miles. Each team has a professional skipper on board, as well as other qualified crew who can assist the amateur sailors. 

The 2023-2024 race began in Portsmouth, United Kingdom on the 3rd September, 2023 and is set to finish in July 2024 in Oban, Scotland. The 11 yachts visit eight different locations around the world including three ports in Australia.

At the time of this article (Jan 2024), the Clipper Round The World crew are currently moored at Coral Sea Marina in Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays before departing for the next leg of their journey on the 22nd January.


Where does the Clipper Round The World Race go?

a shot of an island with clear blue water in front

Before arriving in Airlie Beach, the Clipper Round The World crew raced up from Newcastle in New South Wales. Their next destination is Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. 

Every second year when the race takes place, the organisers of the race decide what they want the route to look like. The route changes each time and more than 50 cities around the world have hosted the 60-foot yachts.

The 2023-2024 racing route starts from Portsmouth in the United Kingdom and the first three stops are Puerto Sherry in Spain, Punta Del Este in Uruguay, and Cape Town in South Africa. The race then makes its way to Australia stopping in Fremantle, Newcastle and the Whitsundays. The next leg stops in Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, Zhuhai and Qingdao in China, Seattle in the USA, Panama, and Washington DC in the USA. The homecoming leg makes it to Oban in Scotland, concluding 10 months of sailing. The crew are given a few days to a week in each port to relax on land and explore their new surroundings. 


History of the Clipper Round The World Race

 

A sign that says 'raced by people like you'

The first Clipper Round The World Race took place in October 1996 where eight 60-foot yachts left Plymouth in the UK and raced around the world. The race was created by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who founded Clipper Ventures, a company that runs the races. The initial race stopped in ports such as Madeira, Fort Lauderdale, the Galápagos Islands, Hawaii, Yokohama, Salvador and the Azores. That first race finished in September 1997. 

Since 1996, more than 5,000 people have competed in what is often referred to as the “world’s toughest ocean racing challenge”. 


Watch the Clipper Round The World Race start from Airlie Beach

A row of flags lined up along a marina's footpath

If you're in Airlie Beach on the 22nd January 2024 and are interested in watching the Clipper Round the World yachts depart Airlie and start their next leg towards Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, then be sure to head to the Coral Sea Marina to see the race take off! The highly-anticipated event is set to be popular amongst locals, excited to see the teams off! 

If you're eager to step onboard one of the 11 yachts, visit the Coral Sea Marina on Saturday, 20th January between 10am and 3pm. You can meet the crew, have a tour of the yacht, and see where the crew live for their months at sea. 


Want to sail in the Whitsundays?

Two men pulling ropes on a sailing yacht

If sailing through the Whitsundays (just like the Clipper Round The World crew) appeals to you then you've come to the right place! There are all types of sailing tours and experiences you can have in the Whitsundays. From maxi yachts to sunset sails to adventure sailing, you can find exactly what you're looking for on our website. If you get stuck, don't hesitate to chat to our local travel experts who will point you in the right direction!


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