Clippers take off from London and Tall Ships grace Greenwich
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will leave St Kats on Sunday 1 September at the heart of a procession of boats and craft forming a spectacular parade of sail from Tower Bridge before the twelve 70-foot long Clipper ocean racing yachts begin their 40,000 mile ocean odyssey.
It's part of a big weekend on the river, with the Sail Royal Greenwich event downstream seeing Tall Ships moored at Woolwich Arsenal Pier and a firework display on Saturday 31 August in the evening will include an artillery fusillade and searchlights, starting at 9.45pm. (http://www.sailroyalgreenwich.co.uk/)
The Clipper Race is the first round the world sailing event to start from London for 40 years. The armada will be joined by a paddleship steamer, pilot boats, police boats, RIBs, spectator boats and other pleasure craft as Britain waves off the 270 crew sailing from London to Rio de Janeiro on Leg 1.
The fleet will return in July 2014 after 670 crew have raced 40,000 miles, visited 16 ports on six continents in the world's longest ocean race.
Clipper race chairman (and Little Ship Club president) Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “We hope Londoners will join in the spirit again after last year’s wonderful Thames celebrations and support this world class British event by coming down and sending off these courageous adventurers on their epic voyage of discovery.”
The boats are currently moored in the historic St Katharine Docks, central London’s only marina, with an official Race Village hosting entertainment and visitors who can see the yachts up close and get an insight into crew life at sea.
PUBLIC RACE VILLAGE
Saturday, 24 August until Saturday 31 August (Daily)
10.00 – 19.00 Race Village Open
11.00 – 18.00 Open Boats (Daily until Aug 30)
Sunday, 1 September
09.00 – 17.00 Race Village Open
09.30 – 10.30 Race Crew Official Departure Ceremony
10.50 – 12.25 Yacht Departure Ceremony from St Katharine Docks Marina
13.30 Yachts Depart Tower Bridge