Seattle team’s performance in Clipper Round the World Yacht Race wins fans from sea lovers to Seahawks
One of the world’s toughest endurance events, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, will stop in Seattle in April following the Mighty Pacific Ocean crossing from China.
Raced by people from all walks of life, the 12 70-foot ocean-racing yachts and 240 novice international crew competing will berth at Bell Harbor Marina to enjoy a stopover after one of the most demanding legs of the grueling 40,000-nautical-mile circumnavigation.
Seattle has its own team in the race, named Visit Seattle, with American and international crew representing the Emerald City as the team races round the planet tackling everything Mother Nature can throw at them.
The Visit Seattle team has some famous home fans, too. The Seattle Seahawks posted a story about the Clipper Race team in the fan appreciation section of its popular news website after the yacht went out sailing in Sydney Harbor wearing Seahawks shirts and caps and flying a flag after the team reached the playoffs in December.
The distinctive Seahawks logo also was revealed on the yacht’s Yankee 1 sail, where it will stay for the rest of the round-the-world race campaign. The Seahawks loved this so much they also retweeted the story to their 1.2 million Twitter fans.
There are various public events planned during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race’s Seattle stopover, including the chance to meet the crew and professional skippers in command of each team, and the opportunity to find out what life is like on board, with free yacht tours at Bell Harbor.
There are also recruitment talks to find out more about what the race entails, with presentations by former crew.
This year, 700 people from 44 different nations are taking part in the race. The unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to taxi drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 and up, to take on some of seafaring’s toughest conditions. There is no upper age limit; the oldest competitor to date is 74.
Whether they choose to take on the whole circumnavigation or compete in one or more of eight individual legs, all the crew achieve something remarkable as they conquer some of the world’s most challenging oceans.
Seattle resident Yuko Kikuchi is one of the 700 crew taking part this year. She says she cannot wait to see the familiar sight of downtown coming into Bell Harbor after completing the notoriously difficult Pacific Ocean leg.
“Sailing to Seattle is exciting, satisfying and emotional and I’ll be happy to see my family and friends. A few things have happened personally over the last four or five years, and I learned that it’s up to me to make time to do things and not say ‘I don’t have time.’ I decided to sign up to the race as my 40-year-old gift to myself!
“I chose The Mighty Pacific race for so many reasons. I have always wanted to cross big oceans but I didn’t know if I would ever gain enough experience to be able to do so, so I thought this would give me a chance. In addition I travel between Japan and Seattle every other month so why not take a boat instead of a flight this time? It will just take 30 days instead of 10 hours!” Yuko says.
For more information on the race, see clipperroundtheworld.com.
To find out about the events planned during the stopover in Seattle, click here.