KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The fleet of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is just days away from reaching Jamaica and preparations are well underway to ensure the Jamaica leg of the race is the most exciting. A week of festivities is planned from 17 May to 24 May to ensure that the crews experience the vibrant culture and warm Jamaican hospitality.
Participants in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race are a mix of amateurs and professional sailors, and the Jamaica leg falls three-quarters of the way through the race. The race crews have seen a great deal on their journey, and will discover a seafarer’s paradise when they approach Jamaica and set eyes on its white beaches and lush rainforest backdrop. The fleet will moor at the world-class Errol Flynn Marina, located in the town of Port Antonio, and in addition to the marina’s premier facilities, adjoining areas will be transformed into a sailing carnival a celebration of all things Jamaican.
The 12-strong Clipper fleet will receive a distinctly warm Jamaican reception on arrival, complete with live pulsating rhythms and spectacular colourful costumes and bands. Once all the yachts are moored, the weary crews, who will have travelled 590 nautical miles from Panama to Jamaica, can unwind in true Jamaican style at a Grand Gala event on Monday 19 May. The rest of the week-long festivities will include sailing days, regattas, and excursions right across Jamaica. The crews will then depart from Jamaica for the next leg of the race to New York on Saturday 24 May.
Jamaica’s director of tourism, John Lynch, said: “The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is an ideal platform to take the Jamaica brand world-wide and highlight the energy and spirit embodied in our people. This is expressed, in Jamaica Get All Right, the name of Jamaica’s entry in this year’s event. Jamaica is more than just a holiday destination, it’s also a place where people go to enjoy the island’s culture and vibe it’s a place where people go to relax and ‘Get All Right’.
“We look forward to welcoming the entire Clipper fleet, especially the Jamaica Get All Right crew to Port Antonio in a few days. They will experience our Jamaican energy, our delicious food, and of course our world-famous rum. Appleton Rum, a major sponsor of the event, will be providing the top prize for the yacht that wins the ‘Spirit of Jamaica Chase’ from Panama to Jamaica, but rest assured there will be plenty of rum for all.”
Top five Clipper Race Facts
• The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race was launched in 1996 and founded by famous sailor Sir Robin Knox Johnson.
• The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the world’s longest ocean race.
• The 2013-2014 Round the World Yacht Race fleet consists of 12, 70-foot ocean racing yachts. Each clipper carries up to 22 amateur crew members guided by a professional skipper.
• The Clipper 2013-2014 Race is made up of eight legs, and the scoring system is similar to Formula 1, with the team crossing each finish line first securing 12 points and the final team receiving 1 point. The team with the highest cumulative points will win the overall Clipper Race.
• Jamaica has competed in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race three times.