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Clipper Race 2018 | What’s all the fuss about?

The Clipper Race isaprettyextroadinary event in the Sailing world. It’s the only race in the world where the organisers supply a fleet of twelve identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide the crew. The cool thing about this race is that the bulk of it is made up of novices – yup, that’s right no previous sailing experience is necessary for a record breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht. Okay, so it is divided into 8 legs with 13-16 individual races and the crew have the choice to complete an individual leg or the full circumnavigation, impressive right?


“The sea does not distinguish between Olympians or novices. There is nowhere to hide - if Mother Nature throws down the gauntlet, you must be ready to face the same challenges as the pro racer. Navigate the Doldrums en route to South America, endure epic Southern Ocean storms, experience South African sunsets, face the mountainous seas of the North Pacific - and bond with an international crew creating lifelong memories before returning victorious.”


When the Clipper yachts were announced to be stopping in Airlie Beach to be completely honest I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about… well, how that has changed. After being contracted as the official race arrival photographer I was able to experience first hand the excitement , the emotions and celebrations of the crew and was completely swept up in the atmosphere created by such a huge event.

The race has been sponsored by Abell Point Marina, Tourism Whitsunday and Tourism Events Queensland brining with it a string of events which I have also been apart of in a social sense – if you know me personally you know I love a chance to celebrate!After attending the Whitsunday Food Service progressive lunch I can safely say I am a fan and an advocate of this race coming to town, especially if it will be bringing with it events of this nature. I have lived here for 6 years and the progressive lunch has been one of my favourite experiences to date. Starting at Hemingway’s and finishing at Cape Gloucester Eco-Resort with a stop at Paradise Cove in the middle it incorporated food, champagne, swimming, beaches and a boat ride – just a few (nearly all!) of my favourite things.

If you haven’t had a chance to get amongst the events and celebrations of the race this year then I highly recommend diarizing it in your calendar for 2019/20!


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