The Whitsundays farewells the Clipper Yacht Race fleet
The Whitsundays farewelled the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race crews after a break in the beautiful Whitsundays, enjoying everything the tropical paradise has to offer.
The fanfare on the dock at Abell Point Marina as the yachts slipped lines was emotional, with farewells for family and friends but also an atmosphere of excitement as crews embarked on the next chapter of their 40,000 nautical mile race around the world.
Whitsundays Mayor Andrew Willcox made a short address and wished crews ‘bon voyage’ on their global voyage.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race crews have enjoyed a two-week break in the Whitsundays, with the Red Carpet well and truly rolled out for the region’s guests.
The two-week long Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival (January 13-29) was organised as a celebration of the crews’ visit and also to showcase the wonderful Whitsundays to the world.
Starting with the Bendigo Bank Welcome Party, in which the crews were given the Key to the Whitsundays, the carnival also included the lavish Fish D’Vine White on Whitehaven Long Lunch, on Whitehaven Beach, the exciting Whitsunday Foodservice Progressive Cruise Lunch and a Rodeo by the Reef, in Bowen, which was a sell-out.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said the feedback from the Clipper crews had been outstanding, with many of them going to several different events and all saying they had an amazing time.
“The Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival was a whole-of-region event to showcase the beauty of the Whitsundays and really give our VIP visitors a great time and show them what we have to offer,” he said.
“In addition to all the events, a lot of crew members took time out to see the Great Barrier Reef, including Heart Reef, and of course Whitehaven Beach. We hope they go away with fantastic memories and tell their friends and families back home what an amazing place the Whitsundays is.”
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the only race of its kind and matches experienced skippers with novice sailors, who can take part in just one leg or every leg of the race, which starts and ends in Liverpool in the UK and takes in Uruguay, South Africa, Australia, China, the USA and Ireland.
The Clipper Race fleet headed out into a 15 knot breeze yesterday for the traditional Parade of Sails before the sailing of a short course around Pioneer Bay and then motoring south through the Whitsunday Passage ready for their next race to Sanya, in China.
The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival which features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar. Queensland, just the place to experience Australia’s best live events.