ICONIC RACE WEIGHS AN­CHOR FOR AIR­LIE

Whit­sun­days to wel­come 4000 vis­i­tors, 700 crew when Round the World race docks

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE in­ter­na­tional Clip­per Round the World Yacht Race, the big­gest event of its kind, has an­nounced it will re­turn to Air­lie Beach, once again mak­ing it the fi­nal Aus­tralian stop in its 11month epic ad­ven­ture.

The Clip­per 2017/18 Race fleet will ar­rive in the Whit­sun­days in Jan­uary 2018, with the race’s in­ter­na­tional crew mem­bers and the fleet of 12 70-foot ocean rac­ing yachts dock­ing at Abell Point Ma­rina.

The event will pro­vide huge ben­e­fits for the re­gion with the Clip­per Race Car­ni­val to in­clude a wel­come event, a re­gional rodeo and a lunch on White­haven Beach.

The car­ni­val is ex­pected to at­tract more than 4000 vis­i­tors to the Whit­sun­days and gen­er­ate up­wards of $3 mil­lion for the Queens­land econ­omy when the fleet docks next year.

Tourism Whit­sun­dayscheif ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Craig Turner said the re­gion would em­brace the car­ni­val.

“Tourism Whit­sun­days, in con­junc­tion with Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil and Tourism and Events Queens­land, is pleased to be able to an­nounce the wel­come re­turn of the Clip­per Round the World Yacht Race to the Whit­sun­days,” Mr Turner said.

“The eco­nomic con­tri­bu­tion to the re­gion, as a re­sult of the sailors and their fam­i­lies com­ing here, will be sig­nif­i­cant and it will be a great op­por­tu­nity to show­case the Whit­sun­days as a sail­ing des­ti­na­tion to the whole world.”

Whit­sun­day Mayor An­drew Will­cox said the car­ni­val would show­case the re­gion.

Min­is­ter for Tourism and Ma­jor Events Kate Jones said the event was a sig­nif­i­cant ad­di­tion to the state’s world-class events cal­en­dar.

The race is held ev­ery two years and has 12 yachts sailed by more than 700 am­a­teur crew in a 40,000nau­ti­cal-mile race around the globe.

PHOTO: SHARON SMALL­WOOD

YACHTS COM­ING BACK: Da Nang Viet­nam leads the Clip­per Round the World fleet out of Air­lie Beach when the race last vis­ited the re­gion.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

YACHTS CEL­E­BRATED: Corinn Stick­land man­aged to cap­ture the majesty of the fire­works dur­ing the Clip­per cel­e­bra­tions last time around.

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