Sign up here to sail around the world

Ahoy there, landlubbers! Ever wanted to step outside your cruisy travel zone and sail around the world?

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the only global competition where people from all walks of life can step out of their comfort zones and sign up to race 40,000 miles around the world. They come from backgrounds as varied as marketing executives, nurses, taxi drivers, bankers, carpenters, IT specialists, engineers and chief executives. Almost half of them have never sailed before embarking on their training for the world’s longest ocean race.

The Clipper 2011-2012 Round the World Yacht Race started from Southampton on the south coast of the UK on July 31, 2011. The route  takes the crews of the 10, identical 68-foot yachts via Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Qingdao in China, California, Panama, New York, Nova Scotia, Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland and Netherlands before returning in July 2012 to the south coast of England.

You can do one leg of the race or the whole circumnavigation. The race was inspired by the adventures of Robin Knox Johnston. One of nine sailors to compete in the Times Golden Globe Race, Sir Robin set off from Falmouth in June 1968. He had no sponsorship for his attempt to conquer the Everest of the sailing world.

His yacht  Suhali was packed to the gunwales with supplies – including bottles of whisky and fruitcake baked by his aunt – for a voyage that was to last just over 10 months. He arrived back in Falmouth after 312 days at sea, on April 22, 1969, the winner of the race and secured his place in the history books as the first man ever to sail solo and non-stop around the world.

Sir Robin wanted everyone to have the opportunity to experience the challenge and sheer exhilaration of ocean racing. As he says, “Fewer people have raced a yacht around the globe than have climbed Mount Everest.”

In 1995 he set up Clipper Ventures. Providing ocean racing yachts and equipment, qualified skippers and intensive training. Clipper Training has transformed more than 4,000 novices into racing yachtsmen and women, able to reach the pinnacle of ocean sailing – a full circumnavigation. Clipper Ventures has successfully organised seven round the world yacht races for non-professional sailors.

I’m inspired by my English-born great-great-grandfather, Captain M .T. (Matthew Thomas) Clayton, who was one of the greatest sailors of his time. In the latter part of the 19th Century he captained The Kent, a China tea clipper  that was one of a fleet of great ships that carried immigrants, cargo and tea from China from one end of the world to the other.  I took up sailing when I was 19, and have loved and adored boats ever since. Through this blog, I’m grateful to have recently met a cousin I never knew existed, Rosemary, who knows more about our adventurous ancestor than I do.

Clipper Adventures has two training bases – one in the UK and the other in Singapore. Novices are introduced to the basic principles of big boat sailing and taught important safety and seamanship skills. This is the foundation level for further training.  The aim is to produce 10 racing teams, each of which has a balanced mix across gender, age, and, above all, sailing ability, so as to create a level playing field for the race. The minimum age is 18.

Thousands of people apply, and just 450 are selected for this life-changing voyage.

Sign up here:
More on the current race click here. The leading boat is Gold Coast Australia!
Become a fan of the Clipper Race on Facebook:

4 thoughts on “Sign up here to sail around the world

  1. I had a look at the site and it looks good – but there’s no mention of the costs anywhere. Is that a hidden hitch, or does the race have major sponsors covering most expenses? Given that anyone trying out for, and succeeding in, getting a berth on one of the 10 competing clippers, has to take time off work as Andrew L says, you would need something to compensate for the loss in income. This is not supposed to be a race for the rich or the nouveau riche, but for ordinary people – who couldn’t afford it otherwise. Cheers.


    1. Hi Rob, you’re right, there’s no mention of the cost. I see that the event has heavy duty sponsors, so hopefully it won’t cost me too much!


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