The Clipper 2005-2006 Race sets sail on Sunday 18 September 2005 from Liverpool, Great Britain and returns some ten months later after 35,000 nautical miles of intense competition on the high seas.
The sole Chinese stopover is scheduled for mid February 2006, with the ten strong fleet of identical 68 foot racers berthing in Qingdao for eight days, before heading to the Japanese port of Yokohama and onto Victoria BC in Canada on the fifth race leg. Qingdao is also set to host the Olympic Sailing Competition in 2008.
In addition to Qingdao being a host port for the Clipper 2005-2006 Race, the race line up will include a yacht named Qingdao Clipper on the start line. The Chinese entry will face strong competition from a formidable international field including race title defenders Jersey (GBR), as well as Liverpool (GBR), Durban (RSA), Fremantle (AUS), Singapore, Glasgow (GBR), Victoria BC (CAN) and New York (USA).
As an economic hub and open port city, Qingdao is one of China's major ports for foreign trade. Located at the southern tip of the Shandong Peninsula, Qingdao is famous for its cultural heritage and eye-catching scenery.
'We are delighted that our crews will get to experience this beautiful natural port firsthand in February 2006 and wish the Chinese team every good fortune in the Clipper 2005-2006 Race,' said KNOX-JOHNSTON, Chairman of Clipper Ventures Plc and the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world.
Mr ZHU, General Office Director for the Committee (Qingdao) of Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, added, 'Qingdao is immensely proud of being the first and only Chinese boat entry in this Race. As the Olympic Sailing centre for Beijing 2008, we look forward to welcoming the entire Clipper fleet here for a stopover in February 2006.'
'We are also very much looking forward to joining the line up of other world class cities for Clipper 2005-2006,' he concluded.
Clipper 2005-2006, the fifth running of the company's flagship event, will be divided into seven individual crew legs as international teams fight for the prestigious 'Clipper Cup.' The Qingdao yacht will be skippered by Danny WATSON (GBR) and there are selected berths available for China's budding sailors interested in racing on various legs of the race.