Today, Clipper Ventures announced the start of its Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race, as Sunday, 18 September 2005, with the starting gun to be fired at midday.
The venue for next year's race start will be the British city of Liverpool, recently awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2008, with a ten-strong racing fleet berthing at the city's award-winning Albert Dock.
The fifth Clipper event will be divided into 12 individual races in all, taking its crews on the longest route of all round the world races as they fight for the 'Clipper World Cup' over some 35,000 nautical miles. The city of Liverpool will be joined by the state of Western Australia and the South African port city of Durban in the international line-up for the competition, which pits ten identical yachts against one another.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Clipper Ventures' Chairman, today commented, "The countdown is now on for the race start on 18th September 2005. This is during Liverpool's Year of the Sea and will consolidate the city's position as a venue for round the world yacht racing and home to our Clipper fleet.
"Crews on the last race were full of praise for the spectacular send off afforded by the city and the welcome back by the huge crowds on the river. Liverpool has been set alight by its successful bid to become the European Capital of Culture 2008 and Clipper Ventures are proud to be associated with the city."
Ten new 68-foot racing yachts, from the drawing board of celebrated designer Ed DUBOIS and currently under construction at Shanghai Double Happiness Yachts, will contest the Clipper 05-06 Race.
The Clipper 05-06 points scoring system is simple; each race has 10 points on offer for its victorious city, scoring downwards towards 1 point for the tenth boat home. These points are accumulated over the epic ten-month series and the 'Clipper World Cup' will be awarded to the city with the highest score at the triumphant finish in the summer of 2006.
Last year's Clipper race drew to a dramatic conclusion in front of an 80,000 strong crowd in Liverpool's mighty River Mersey in September - with Jersey Clipper finishing a mere two points ahead of their closest rivals, Bristol Clipper, on the overall leaderboard.