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Clipper race returns to Whitsundays

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AIRLIE BEACH will open its arms to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race for the fourth year, in January 2024.

The eleven-strong fleet of Clipper Race yachts will visit the Whitsundays in the global race, known to be one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet.

Crew can either take on the challenge of more than 40,000 nautical miles circumnavigation or choose one or multiple legs of the ambitious adventure.

Airlie Beach will feature in the fourth stage of the event’s circumnavigation, which starts from Portsmouth, in the United Kingdom, on September 3, 2023.

Coral Sea Marina Resort (CSMR) will be the host port.

CSMR’s head of marketing and business development Joscelyn O’Keefe said staff would be working closely with the Clipper Race team.

“Following the positive economic impact of its previous visits, we are delighted to once again be host port for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race,” she said.

“Having the opportunity to further promote our region as a leading sailing destination in the Southern Hemisphere is one which we couldn’t pass up.

“This will be the fourth time the Clipper Race fleet has been welcomed to Coral Sea Marina Resort and the team here are very much looking forward to the buzz the race fleet creates at the marina and throughout Airlie Beach during their stay.

“We will be working closely with the Clipper Race team to find ways to engage the community with the race and make this another memorable stopover for the race crews and their supporters.”   

Twenty-nine Australian crew members, aged between 22 and 69, will be joining the adventure of a lifetime.

Eight of the Australian crew will sail into the host port at Airlie Beach at the end of leg four, and a further six crew will sail out as they embark on leg five of the race.

After visiting Puerto Sherry, Spain, Punta Del Este, Uruguay, and Cape Town, South Africa, the fleet will head to Australia.

Making their first stop in Fremantle, teams will then travel to Newcastle, New South Wales, before heading north to make their final Australian stop in Airlie Beach.

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