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Singapore ready to welcome the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

Travel News Asia 16 December 2005

Even as the 10 teams in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race are in a last push to finish well in Fremantle, Western Australia, Singapore is getting ready to play host in their next stopover.

A new race partner, Team Singapore, has also come on board. On Team Singapores involvement, Singapore Sports Council's (SSC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Oon Jin Teik, said, We are proud to support the Uniquely Singapore entry and to see so many ordinary Singaporeans from all walks of life (some with no prior sailing experience) take up the challenge to sail around the world and compete against nine other cities in this prestigious international event.

He added, These are Singaporeans who are prepared to sacrifice their daily routine and comfort zones, to represent their country and put Singapore on the international map. They are exceptional and truly embody the power of our sporting aspirations in bridging ethnic and cultural divides to bring our young nation together towards greater unity. That, in effect, is the spirit of Team Singapore.

Flagged off on 18 September 2005, the race has already covered more than a quarter round the world. After the stop in Fremantle, Western Australia, the race will resume on New Years Eve and the first Clipper is expected into Singapore on 15 January 2006. Singapore is one of two Asian cities participating in the Clipper race for the first time.

Mr Ken Low, Acting Assistant Chief Executive, Brand and Communications at STB, said, We are looking forward to welcoming home the Uniquely Singapore Clipper and her crew, who have been acting as Singapores roving tourism ambassadors in the various ports of call.

We are also excited about hosting the crew members of the other yachts and will offer them a Uniquely Singapore experience that showcases the best of the modern world and rich cultures.

As they sail in to Singapore to berth at Keppel Bay, the Clipper yachts and their crew will be given an enthusiastic welcome. A welcome party is planned on 17 January 2006, when hopefully all the yachts would have finished the race. Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also President of the Singapore National Olympic Council, will present the Uniquely Singapore Cup to the winning Clipper for the leg from Fremantle and Singapore. The event will be held at the Caribbean Show Gallery from 4pm to 7pm.

Celebrations will continue at the Singapore Festival Village on Sentosa Cove, to be opened on 20 January 2006 at 4pm by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports and Second Minister for Trade and Industry. A special sail past is planned as part of the grand opening festivities. That evening, crew and guests will be treated to a Chinese New Year-themed dinner at Sentosa Cove. 

Sailing enthusiasts and all Singaporeans can meet the crew of the 10 Clipper yachts at the Singapore Festival Village on January 21 and 22 (Saturday and Sunday). In celebration of the sporting spirit and to encourage interest in sailing, the sailing fraternity will be out in full support. The Singapore Sailing Federation will be conducting sailing demonstrations using the Optimist, Pico and Byte water crafts. Its members will be on hand to accompany those keen to take to the water in fun sailing sessions. Even without taking to the water, members of the public can still enjoy a sailing experience thanks to a state-of-the-art sailing simulator, brought to Singapore for the first time by the Singapore Sports Council.

Fresh from their triumphant 42-gold outing at the South-east Asia Games in Manila, national sailors and other members of Team Singapore will meet and greet fans and well-wishers at the Singapore Festival Village. Members of the 10 Clipper Yachts will also be present to share their tales of their journey so far, which has taken them from Liverpool to Cascais, Portugal, to Salvador, Brazil, then Durban, South Africa and Fremantle, Western Australia before their Singapore stop. On the night of January 21, a dance party will be held for all to celebrate well into the night.

The Singapore Festival Village will have pavilions showcasing local brands, culture and of course, Singapore food. There will also be various land and sea sports activities that visitors can try.

Away from the Singapore Festival Village, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the founder of Clipper Ventures, will be conducting sailing clinics. Sir Robin is the first man to sail single-handedly around the world non-stop in his yacht, the Suhaili, in 1969.

As Singapore will be in the thick of celebrations for Chunjie (Spring Festival), various city tours and visits to the festive light-up and bustling street bazaars in Chinatown will be organised for the visiting crews to experience a slice of Singapore.

On 27 January 2006, the Clipper fleet will sail off with pomp and ceremony for their next stop in Qingdao, China. Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who had officiated at the Uniquely Singapore Clipper naming ceremony in London in March, will grace the occasion. The sending-off event is open to the public who can catch the Clippers departing from Keppel Bay (along the former Kings Dock) from 10 am to noon.

See other recent news regarding: Singapore, Boats

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