Albany embraces racing yachts

International exposure for Great Southern

Albany turned on the hospitality and gained some international friends when the crews and supporters of the Clipper Round the World yacht race sailed into town in November.

Developments over the past few years at the Albany Waterfront provided the perfect setting to welcome the 12 racing yachts for a port call of several days.

The Clipper Round the World race is a biennial event in which crews from wideranging backgrounds join experienced ocean-racing skippers to race 12 identical 21m yachts around the world from London.

The Great Southern Development Commission (GSDC) supported the Albany leg prize presentation event and a Clipper Festival, in partnership with the City of Albany and other supporters.

GSDC Chairman Peter Rundle said the Commission’s support helped to ensure that the visiting crews and supporters had a warm welcome at the Albany Boatshed.

“The bigger story is that the Albany Waterfront, with its marina and the Albany Entertainment Centre, has been a long-term focus of the GSDC,” Mr Rundle said.

“Facilities provided at the waterfront were essential in attracting the Clipper race to Albany.

“International exposure resulted for Albany and the Great Southern, and the event drew yachting fans from Perth and elsewhere to look over the boats and watch the start of the Albany to Sydney leg,” Mr Rundle said.

The Clipper Festival on Saturday 30 November was affected by strong winds that limited some outside activities, but still drew hundreds of people to visit the boats and find out about life aboard a racing yacht.

Clipper race chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston praised the warm hospitality the crews experienced in Albany.

Albany provided highs and lows for the skipper and crew of the yacht Great Britain, which won the third leg of the race, from Cape Town to Albany, but then lost valuable sailing time after it was involved in a collision with PSP Logistics at the start of the Albany to Sydney leg.

At the finish of the third leg of the race, Great Britain was in second place overall, behind Henri Lloyd.

From Albany, the yachts were to sail east and arrive in Sydney in mid-December. On Boxing Day, they will join the fleet in the Sydney to Hobart race.
They will leave Australia in January and sail to south-east Asia, visiting Singapore and Qingdoa, then to the US west coast, through the Panama Canal, to New York and
finally finish their circumnavigation in the United Kingdom in July.

Contact: Linsey McFarlane, ph. 9842 4888
Great Southern Development Commission
www.gsdc.wa.gov.au

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