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July 31, 2013 at 11:20 AM EDT
GREAT Britain Team Yacht Launched in Trafalgar Square Today

GOSPORT, England, July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

- Nelson's front row seat for new Clipper 70 ocean racer

- Land Rover, ARM Holdings and Grange Hotels revealed as first Team Partners

- GREAT Britain  will be flagship of Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet as longest ocean race on the planet prepares to depart London 1 September

A GREAT Britain yacht was launched today (Wednesday 31 July 2013) on the North Terrace of Trafalgar Square in front of the National Gallery. Nelson looked down from his column on the proceedings as Sports Minister the Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP and legendary UK yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston named the GREAT Britain  entry in the 2013-14 edition of the unique Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

GREAT Britain is one of twelve new identical third generation ocean racing yachts commissioned by UK based race organiser Clipper Ventures. The fleet will depart from Tower Bridge in London on 1 September 2013 on the world's longest ocean race. The GREAT Britain yacht will spearhead an innovative trade and tourism partnership between the race organisers, the GREAT Britain Campaign and British based companies.  

GREAT Britain Team Partners from the private sector will engage with a comprehensive set of branding and activation opportunities supported by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Visit Britain to demonstrate the UK as a place to visit and invest in.  Alongside this will be an exceptional human adventure with crew of all ages and from all walks of life: 'ordinary' people doing something extraordinary.

"This is a remarkable endeavour," said Sports and Tourism Minister, the Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP, who climbed aboard the 70 foot ocean racer to help officially name the GREAT Britain yacht. "It captures the great British spirit of adventure perfectly by opening up the opportunity of ocean racing to so many people.

"The Clipper Race has played a leading role in promoting British sailing and is now a core asset for British business internationally; it is organisations like this that will continue to push our sporting prowess.

"The GREAT Britain yacht brings together our sporting legacy with some of the strongest and most vibrant British brands in a unique global promotion that will reach out to international markets on six continents over the course of the next year.

"I wish the crew and partners of GREAT Britain fair winds and great success in winning races, trade and tourism for the UK," concluded the Minster.

Clipper Race chairman and founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-9; he launched the biennial race for amateur sailors 17 years ago; the unique global event has also grown into a successful platform to promote trade and tourism along the way. The Clipper Race attracts large global media audiences with a cumulative reach in excess of two billion people in more than 200 countries. (Source: Kantar Media Precis)

Sir Robin said: "I can't think of a more fitting place to launch a GREAT Britain yacht than in Trafalgar Square. This is a unique project and I am very proud that the Clipper Race can provide a powerful platform to promote GREAT Britain to a global audience. We have helped to train over 3000 people how to sail and introduced scores of businesses and destinations to new opportunities as we follow in the spirit of the original Clipper ships which plied the trade winds to make Britain a great maritime trading nation.

"We look forward to working with GREAT British brand partners and the UK Government, through the Prime Minister's office, to deliver a highly effective international marketing campaign."

GREAT British brands sign up as team partners

The project is bringing together a cross-section of partners from the private sector to sponsor the GREAT Britain yacht over the next 16 months and participate in an international campaign that will link up with UK trade and tourism global marketing initiatives.

The first GREAT Britain Team Partners were revealed as iconic automotive brand Land Rover, the internationally successful hi tech company ARM Holdings and the leading independent London hotel group Grange Hotels.

Mark Cameron, Land Rover's Global Brand Experience Director, said: "The sport of sailing and the philosophy of Land Rover go hand in hand, with our shared values of adventure, inner strength and a competitive spirit. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is a fantastic initiative and, with the entry of the GREAT Britain yacht, provides a perfect platform to deepen Land Rover's involvement in sailing as well as support the Government's efforts to celebrate what is great about Britain overseas. As a major British brand we are thrilled to be involved."

Team Partner ARM Holdings is the world's leading semiconductor intellectual property (IP) supplier, and as such is at the heart of the development of digital electronic products. Over 20 billion ARM based chips have been shipped to date.

Another Team Partner is Grange Hotels: London's leading independent hotel group. Managing Director Tony Matharu says this new partnership between Grange Hotels, the Clipper Race and the GREAT Britain campaign reinforces their core values of team work and the pursuit of excellence: "This is an exciting opportunity to continue our support for major International sporting events and to once again demonstrate that London sets and achieves the very highest standards. I believe our brands complement one another with both Grange Hotels and the Clipper Race demonstrating their individual and collective skills, passion and commitment to achieving success as GREAT British businesses."

The GREAT Britain campaign is an ambitious international marketing campaign that showcases the very best of what Britain has to offer in order to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK. Unifying the international growth promotion efforts of UK Trade & Investment, Visit Britain, British Council, DCMS, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, GREAT aims to deliver significant increases in trade, tourism, education and inward investment. The campaign has won international awards and is being used in 86 countries worldwide. http://www.facebook.com/thisisGREATbritain

London born professional skipper Simon Talbot (44) will lead an amateur crew that has been trained in preparation for the 40,000 miles race which will take 11 months to visit 15 ports on six continents over the eight leg series in a matched fleet of twelve 70 foot ocean racing yachts. He will take a break from training with his team to view their yacht in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 3 August at 10am.

The GREAT Britain yacht will be in Trafalgar Square on the North Terrace in front of the National Gallery until Sunday evening 4 August where it can be viewed by the public daily from 8am to 10pm. It will sail back into the capital with the rest of the 12-strong Clipper Race fleet over the August Bank Holiday weekend to spend a week in St Katharine Docks, central London's only marina, prior to departing from Tower Bridge on the Thames on Sunday 1 September on its 40,000 miles race around the world; the fleet will return to London almost 11 months later in July 2014.

Organisations that would like more information on becoming GREAT Britain Team Partners on the Clipper Race can contact Jonathan Levy at Clipper Ventures: Tel: 02392 526000 email:  jlevy@clipper-ventures.com or Edward Pikett at The Prime Minister's Office: Tel:  0207 930 4433   email: epikett@no10.x.gsi.gov.uk

Ends

High resolution official images and footage are available free for editorial use. Please register at:

http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/mediaportal  

Notes to Editors

The Clipper Race and GREAT Britain

In 1969 Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the planet - reinforcing the GREAT British spirit of adventure that has inspired the world for generations. His subsequent accomplishments as an international yachtsman are legendary with a succession of global campaigns. However, his passion for celebrating Britain's heritage as a maritime trading nation and promoting UK trade overseas may be less well known. The two were combined in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - introducing thousands of novice sailors to the thrill of ocean racing on a fleet of yachts representing global destinations and brands, promoting international trade and tourism.

In 2012 the Clipper Race proudly supported the launch of the GREAT Britain campaign, celebrating the very best of British in our Olympic year, promoting the UK in key global markets, culminating in New York with GREAT Britain spinnakers announcing the fleet's arrival during HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations - opening several days of high profile events hosted by the Clipper Race and its partners.

In 2013, Sir Robin is not only celebrating the 45th anniversary of setting out on his pioneering circumnavigation but he is also marking 17years of the Clipper Race with a record breaking ninth edition of the unique biennial event, setting off on 1 September from Tower Bridge in London on an 11-month global adventure:

  • Launching the world's biggest matched fleet of large ocean racing yachts
  • Inspiring over 600 'ordinary' people from 40 nationalities to do something extraordinary
  • Creating the world's longest yacht race at more than 40,000 miles, visiting 15 ports on six continents
  • Promoting GREAT Britain, GREAT British brands and values, in an Olympic legacy campaign with a GREAT Britain boat as the Clipper Race fleet's flagship!

About Clipper Ventures Plc

Clipper Ventures Plc was established in 1995 by legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69.  Sir Robin founded the company on the premise that sailing should be made available to everyone, regardless of age or experience. So he launched the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in 1996. The company owns and operates its own matched fleet of ocean racing yachts and so far more than 3,000 people have competed in the eight editions of the Clipper Race to date. The company also owns the rights to the professional solo round the world VELUX 5 OCEANS race and runs a successful events division offering corporate sailing and development programmes. Today Clipper Ventures is recognised as a leading international marine events company which is focused on developing and promoting major global events such as the Clipper Race.

Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race will start on Sunday 1 September from St Katharine Docks London, and return almost a year later after completing the 40,000 mile route, making it the world's longest ocean race. The event was established by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give everyone, regardless of sailing experience, the opportunity to discover the exhilaration of ocean racing. 650 people representing more than 40 nations will compete in the Clipper 13-14 Race on twelve brand new 70-foot yachts designed by renowned naval architect Tony Castro. It's the largest race ever. Crew members can sign up for the whole circumnavigation or one or more of eight legs. The only qualification for the race is the minimum age of 18 (there is no upper age limit) plus a thirst for adventure. The overall race is divided into individual stages and points are accumulated in a Formula 1-style scoring system. The yacht with the highest total points at the finish wins the Clipper Trophy.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

It's 45 years since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston set off on his record breaking solo and non-stop circumnavigation in 1968-69. Now, as Executive Chairman and founding Director of Clipper Ventures Plc, he is at the forefront of promoting round the world yacht racing. Sir Robin has been involved in sailing all his life and holds a Department of Transport Master's Certificate. He set the record for the fastest circumnavigation with Sir Peter Blake. In 2007; he completed his second solo circumnavigation when he competed in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race. Sir Robin has considerable experience of the administration of round the world races having served on the Whitbread Race committee from 1990 to 1994 and having organised the BOC Challenge Round the World Race in 1982 and 1986. He has been named RYA/YJA Yachtsman of the Year an unprecedented three times and participated in the 2010 Sydney-Hobart race at the age of 71.

Land Rover

Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true breadth of capability across the model range. Defender, Freelander, Discovery, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque each define the world's 4x4 sectors. Land Rover products are currently sold in approximately 180 global markets.

http://www.landrover.com

ARM Holdings

ARM Holdings is the world's leading semiconductor intellectual property (IP) supplier and as such is at the heart of the development of digital electronic products. Headquartered in Cambridge, UK and employing over 2,000 people, ARM has offices around the world. The ARM business model involves the designing and licensing of IP rather than the manufacturing and selling of actual semiconductor chips.

http://www.arm.com

Grange Hotels

Grange Hotels is London's leading independent hotel group.  Recent accolades include 'Best Small Hotel Company 2013' (Business Travel Awards), 'Hotelier of the Year' (ABA 2013) and 'Highly Commended' in London Loves Excellence Awards 2013.  Grange Hotels design, build and manage sixteen 4* & 5* hotels in prime Central London locations. The Group offers luxury accommodation, state-of-the art conference and events and award-winning Health Clubs and Spas.

http://www.grangehotels.com


SOURCE Clipper Ventures Plc

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