Christmas in the sun for Clipper crews

by PR 
Clipper yachts hauled out at Fremantle SC

The Prize giving for Race 4 of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race took place on Saturday evening at special ceremony laid on by Fremantle Sailing Club. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and John Longley joined the Clipper crews, their friends and families, and invited VIP guests for an evening of presentations.

CEO of Fremantle Chamber of Commerce and legendary America’s Cup veteran John Longley hosted the ceremony which saw the top three teams, Durban 2010 and Beyond, westernaustralia2011.com and Qingdao, receive their pennants for first second and third respectively in Race 4 of Clipper 07-08 from Durban to Fremantle.

Fremantle Sailing Club Commadore Garry Webb congratulated the teams and spoke of his wish to see the Clipper Race return to the club. 'The Clipper Race is a very special event for us, 'said Mr Webb. 'It has happened every other year for the past couple of years and we’re looking forward to it happening again.'

Fremantle is the only Australian port on the Clipper Race and consequently the biggest cheer of the evening went to the home port team, westernaustralia2011.com as they came on stage to collect their pennant. Amongst the crew was ex-Fremantle Dockers player James Walker who said the race was an amazing experience and that he liked to think he had contributed to westernaustralia2011.com’s podium position.

David Van Ooran, Executive Director of EventsCorp, the sponsors of westernaustralia2011.com, acknowledged the achievement of all the teams participating in the race. 'No words can sum up the enormity of the challenge,' said Mr Van Ooran. 'I can’t speak from experience but this leg has to be potentially the most challenging leg of any sailing race around the world.

'Western Australians have a natural affinity with the ocean, it’s a part of our lifestyle. It is one of our key iconic attractions it’s something thatwe use to promote the state around the world, hence our support for this sailing event.'

Joining the invited guests at the ceremony was the Mayor of Fremantle Peter Tagliaferri who was invited on stage to sign a petition calling for the abolishment of modern day slavery. The Wilberforce Petition is being carried around the world onboard Hull & Humber by the ONE HULL Tag Team, a specially selected group of young people from Hull. The initiative was set up in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the abolishment of slavery in the UK, a campaign led by Hull MP William Wilberforce.
Liverpool crew celebrate arrival - Clipper 07-08 Race
Other awards presented during the ceremony included some light-hearted awards such as the ‘Windex Award’, which was presented to Jamaica for sailing the entire race across the southern ocean without their wind instruments.

Crew member David Brown from Qingdao was presented with the ‘Golden Trowel Award’.

A professional sign painter when he’s not on the Clipper Race, the award was created to acknowledge the commitment David has given to hand painting the anti-foul on the entire fleet without the need for masking tape.

Media prizes were also presented in conjunction with Henri-Lloyd, the official clothing sponsors of the Clipper 07-08 Race. Set up to recognise the high standard of photographs and video footage being captured on the race, the media competition awards prizes to the teams that have captured the best image of shot the best footage on each leg of the race. The prizes for the Southern Ocean leg were awarded to:

westernaustralia2011.com – Photography prize runner-up
Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper – Photography prize winner
Hull & Humber - Video prize runner-up
Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper – Video prize winner

With the majority of the fleet back in the water following a routine service to their hulls the ten teams are spending the immediate Christmas period checking out the delights that Western Australia has on offer. Many have chosen to spend Christmas day on the beach with a ubiquitous Aussie Barbie, whilst others are heading out of Fremantle to sample other areas such as the Swan Valley and Margaret River.

The Clipper Race will restart at 1400 on 1 January and the public are invited to attend with excellent vantage points at Fremantle’s Victoria Quay and long Perth’s city beaches.