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World's longest race coming to Jamaica
Elton Tucker, Assistant Sport Editor
THE CLIPPER Ventures 05-06 Round the World Yacht race is coming to Jamaica.
Billed as the world's longest, the yacht race will make a six-day stop in Port Antonio from June 14-20.
Port Antonio is the final stop on the sixth leg of the seven-leg race. The 10 participating yachts, all named after cities, set out from Liverpool in England last September and are scheduled to make 12 stops at ports around the world.
The race will also end in Liverpool after 10 months and 35,000 miles. The first leg took the yachts from Liverpool to Cascals in Portugal then on to Salvador in Brazil. Leg two took the competitors from Salvador to Durban while the third leg was from Durban to Freemantle in Western Australia.
The fourth leg went from Australia to Singapore on to Sudic Bay and Qindao in China. Leg five went across the Pacific to Victoria in British Columbia, Canada and the sixth leg which includes Jamaica is now in progress. The yachts are due to pass through the Panama Canal before arriving in Jamaica on June 14.
In outlining details of the race at the Pegasus Hotel on Friday morning, operations director Colin Mowbray said the Clipper 05-06 is the fifth race of its kind since 1996. Other races took place in 1998, 2000 and 2002.
Jamaica, Mowbray said, is poised to get a great deal of publicity from hosting the yachts for six days.
"The hosting of the yachts will provide strong promotion for Jamaica," Mowbray said.
He added: "There will be members of the crew from each yacht who will be ending their trip in Jamaica and 40 or more sailors will take the opportunity to have their holidays here."
A camera crew of five from Trans World International (TWI) will be present in Jamaica during the stopover and will make up to 20 30-minute videos of the island. Mowbray said in addition to promoting Jamaica, the organisers of the race wanted to encourage sailing.
The yachts which are named after the cities of Liverpool, Glasgow, Jersey, Freemantle (Western Australia), Singapore, New York, Cardiff, Durban, Victoria and Qingdao - all have a capacity for 20 people but are each racing with 17 crew members and one professional skipper.
Jersey, skippered by Simon Rowell, defeated Britol by just two points (97.5 to 95.5) in the 2002-20 race.
Clipper Ventures is headed by Englishman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who made a historic solo, non-stop trip around the world in 1970. He is now at the forefront of promoting round the world yacht racing.