Round the World Yacht Race to Stop at Santa Cruz

By: Andrew Regan

The Clipper Round the World Yacht race 07/08 fleet will be docking at Santa Cruz in California for a ten day stopover as it sails in after a challenging leg across the Pacific from Hawaii.

By the time the Clipper Fleet docks in Santa Cruz, the ten 68-foot yachts will have travelled 25,000 miles and stopped at nine ports on five continents. Despite those gruelling statistics, the yachts will still have another 10,000 miles to travel before they reach the end of the 10 month race.

During the ten-day stopover, routine maintenance will be carried out on the yachts; they will be restocked and the crews will take a rest from ocean-going duties, although they will still be very busy preparing the yachts for the race's next leg, 3,300 miles down the Pacific to Panama.

The Clipper Round the World Race 2007-08 has a truly American feel with six American crew aboard a yacht named 'New York', and Santa Cruz being one of three US ports visited in the race's circumnavigation of the globe. However, this is the first time that the Clipper race has been hosted by Santa Cruz. Clipper chairman and noted solo sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: "We're delighted that the Clipper Race will be visiting Santa Cruz in April next year. This will be the first time that the Clipper fleet has visited California and I'm certain that the crews will receive a warm welcome from the people of Santa Cruz."

It would appear that the Port Commission is also eagerly anticipating the event, with spokesman Bill Lee adding: "The port of Santa Cruz is honoured to have been selected as a port of call on the Clipper Race. The race will create an ideal opportunity for family, friends and followers to visit our city. Be assured that everyone will receive a warm welcome."

The ten yachts in the race are each manned up to 17 individuals from 27 countries and come from a variety of backgrounds. Prior to the start of the race in Liverpool, 40% of the crew members had no sailing experience, but by the time they reach Santa Cruz some eight months later they will all be able sea-hands.

This idyllic Californian town is expecting a mini bonanza with the arrival of the fleet and finding a hotel in Santa Cruz that isn't sold out when the yachts sail in will be a challenge.

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