Finland has been confirmed as an entry in the Clipper 2009-2010 Round the World Yacht Race, a debut for the Scandinavian country in the biennial event. The yacht, named Team Finland will compete against nine identical stripped down 68-foot racing yachts in the 35,000 mile race around the world, beginning September 13, 2009 and ending July 17, 2010.
Team Finland’s nine competitorsare each sponsored by an international city, region or country, including Uniquely Singapore, Qingdao, Jamaica, and Hull & Humber, all of whom will be making return appearances having recognized that the Clipper Race provides a unique platform for delivering global market exposure. Joining the race for the first time will be California, whose participation has been endorsed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger following the Clipper fleet’s inaugural visit to the state in the last edition of the race. Cape Breton Island, Spirit of Australia and Cork are also making their debuts and are joined by Edinburgh Inspiring Capital whose recent announcement was endorsed by a visit from His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. The 2009-2010 race will start from the Humber on the east coast of England.
Endorsed by the Finnish Tourist Board, the country’s entry will act as a floating billboard during the course of the ten month race, promoting the region as a tourist destination and reaching an audience of more than 200 million.
“We at the Finnish Tourist Board are extremely happy to have one yacht named after our country and company,” said Jaakko Lehtonen, Director General of the Finnish Tourist Board. “Boat racing enthusiasts all over the world will have the chance to view the race and find their way to the mouth-watering attractions of Finland via the web as well (www.visitfinland.com)”.
The Clipper Race was founded by sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world in 1969. He wanted others to be able to follow in his footsteps regardless of previous sailing ability; more than 40 percent of those taking part in the Clipper Race have never sailed before embarking on their pre-race training.
Commenting on the announcement, Sir Robin said, “Team Finland marks the first time Scandinavia has fielded an entry in the Clipper Race and I know they will prove to be fierce competition for the nine other international entries. With an experienced Finnish skipper leading the team and national representatives amongst the crew, the team will be worthy ambassadors for Finland.”
The crew for Clipper 2009-2010 come from all walks of life, representing more than 230 professions and 33 nationalities, united by their desire to take on nature in the raw. Each of the teams is led by a professional skipper, with Team Finland led by Eero Lehtinen from Helsinki.
The Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race will start on 13 September from the Humber on the UK’s east coast and return there in July 2010 after 35,000 miles of ocean racing. No previous sailing experience is required to take part as full training is provided. Crew can sign up for the whole circumnavigation or one or more legs. The overall race is divided into individual races and points are accumulated according to each individual race position. The yacht with the highest total at the finish wins the race trophy.
For media information or interviews please contact:
Meryl Pearlstein, Public Relations, Visit Finland
Zoe Williamson, Communications Manager
Mobile: +44 (0) 7793 417 751
Tel: +44 (0) 2392 526000
Email: [email protected]