TWELVE 70-foot ocean racing yachts, each led by a professional skipper and mainly crewed by novices from 42 countries including Spain sailed under Tower Bridge at end of August at the start of the race which will not finish until July 2016.
They will stop over in Cape Town, Albany – Western Australia, Sydney (including participating in the world famous Sydney-Hobart Race), the Whitsundays, Da Nang – Vietnam, Qingdao – China, Seattle, Panama, New York, Derry-Londonderry and Den Helder – the Netherlands, before returning to London’s St Katharine Docks 10 months later.
The tragic death of a British crewman Andrew Ashman who was adjusting the sail of his team’s boat when he was knocked unconscious brought home the danger that always exists at sea and organisers said he failed to regain consciousness, despite resuscitation attempts.
The accident happened about 120 nautical miles off the Portuguese coast and is the first fatality in the race’s history. The crew of the clipper decided to stay in the race which has now reached the Canary Islands.