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British sailing legends are lining up to offer their congratulations to yachting legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and his team who are celebrating 20 years this weekend since the first race set sail and opened up the challenge of ocean racing to every-day people seeking a global adventure.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 77, the first man to sail, solo, non-stop around the world in 1968-69, established the race, along with CEO William Ward, to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing.

Sir Robin said: “I have always believed strongly that we only have one life and should live it as fully and as adventurously as possible. Twenty years ago we took a chance and started this idea of training amateur sailors to achieve the incredibly life-affirming challenge of circumnavigation, and I’ve been incredibly proud to see the race grow in popularity in each edition.”

The biennial clipper race has just completed its tenth edition and is regarded as one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges. Over the past two decades more than 4,000 amateur sailors have competed in the marathon race and the fleet has amassed a cumulative distance in excess of 3.8 million nautical miles.

The third generation fleet of twelve identical 70-foot yachts combined with 700 crew over the 40,000 nautical mile course makes it the biggest ocean race on the planet. It takes almost a year to complete a series of 14 races between six continents.

The Clipper 2017-18 race starts next summer and is already 70 per cent full, with UK and international crew already out training each week on the Solent in Hampshire.

Crew can choose to sign up to either the full circumnavigation, or one or more of its eight race legs.
To find out more about the challenge, visit


Sailing stars pay tribute to world’s biggest ocean race
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