City misses boat on Clip­per race

Albany Extra - - Extra News - Tayler Neale

Al­bany has been over­looked as a host port for the lu­cra­tive Clip­per Round the World Race.

The City of Al­bany had been in dis­cus­sions with event or­gan­is­ers to re­turn the race to Al­bany, but Fre­man­tle was cho­sen as the host port in­stead.

The race com­prises eight legs to­talling 40,000 nautical miles, with par­tic­i­pants rac­ing iden­ti­cal 21m yachts.

Al­bany was a host port for the race in 2015, with a post-event eval­u­a­tion re­port es­ti­mat­ing it at­tracted more than $870,000 in di­rect spend­ing by vis­i­tors.

City chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Sharpe said win­ning host­ing rights was a com­pet­i­tive process.

“The City ex­pressed its de­sire to host the 2017 Clip­per Round the World Race, how­ever it has been un­suc­cess­ful on this oc­ca­sion,” he said

“On this oc­ca­sion the coun­cil was un­able to meet the fi­nan­cial ex­pec­ta­tions to win the host­ing rights.”

But Mr Sharpe said the coun­cil re­mained pos­i­tive about the event re­turn­ing.

“While we are dis­ap­pointed to be over­looked for this year’s race, we be­lieve Al­bany’s ma­rina re­mains an ideal host port for the race and we look for­ward to be­ing able to ne­go­ti­ate the re­turn of Clip­per in the fu­ture,” he said.

Al­bany woman Ni­cola Ed­wards com­peted in the race when it stopped in Al­bany in 2015 and de­scribed it as a life-chang­ing jour­ney.

“Be­ing in the mid­dle of the Pa­cific Ocean, where the next clos­est per­son was in the in­ter­na­tional space sta­tion, in a storm with 80ft waves, 70 knots of wind — that was chal­leng­ing,” she said

“I think the ca­ma­raderie and ar­riv­ing in dif­fer­ent coun­tries hav­ing earned our berth there was cer­tainly a fan­tas­tic as­pect of the jour­ney.

“I have been for­tu­nate enough to ex­plore some amaz­ing cities and sights along the way.”

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