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STB offers Singaporeans Sailing Experience of a Lifetime

Travel News Asia 30 November 2004

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) today announced a recruitment drive to recruit bold and adventurous individuals who will be a part of the crew and act as tourism ambassadors on-board the “Uniquely Singapore” yacht in the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race. The STB is offering Singaporeans from all walks of life the unique opportunity to represent Singapore and compete in this international ocean race. All forward-thinking, daring individuals with the potential to be future leaders now have a chance to take on this challenge and make Singapore proud.

On 8 November 2004, the STB signed a sponsorship agreement with Clipper Ventures Plc that will see Singapore join the competitive line-up of one of the world’s most prestigious international yachting events. The 68-foot “Uniquely Singapore” yacht will be manned by a crew of 18 and will act as Singapore’s roving tourism ambassador. Through the local crew members and hosted festival villages along the seven-leg route, the rest of the world can get taste of Singapore and will be able to appreciate the sophisticated blend of the best of the modern world and rich cultures that makes Singapore so unique.

There will be 18 crew members on board the “Uniquely Singapore” at any one time, however, because there is the option of only racing for one or more of the seven legs, many Singaporeans will get the chance to participate. STB has secured 20 places for Singapore's tourism ambassadors to compete in one leg of the race and will subsidise half the cost of participating in the race. The remainder of the places will be taken by a combination of representatives from government agencies and other any other individual who chooses to fund the experience themselves or through sponsorship.

Commenting on this unique opportunity for everyday Singaporeans to participate in such a momentous race, Mr Lim Neo Chian, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board said; “To represent your country in the global arena is both a  privilege and once in a lifetime opportunity but to face a challenge like sailing around the world in an International competition shows real strength and determination.”

“This is indeed a unique opportunity for future leaders to come forward and take advantage of new opportunities and to develop new strengths and strategies to thrive in the ever-changing world. In new situations, we have to be less conventional and must be prepared to venture. The Clipper 05-06 is a platform first, to take Singapore to the world and second to give the Singaporeans a chance to take on challenges of this nature. So we encourage Singaporeans to come forward and sign up for the opportunity of a lifetime and to share Singapore’s uniqueness with the world.”

Colin de Mowbray MBE, Operations Director, Clipper Ventures PLC added, “Having a yacht competing from Singapore is the fulfilment of a great amount of work and energy by a few dedicated and enlightened individuals. It is now time to get the crew together and start to prepare ‘Uniquely Singapore’ to perform on a world stage. I have no doubt that she and her crew will not only capture the imagination of everyone at home but also be a credit to Singapore where ever they go.”

Singaporeans have the option to join the “Uniquely Singapore” team as either a ‘round the worlder’, a crew member for the entire 35,000 mile, 10-month race; or as a ‘legger’, a crew member for one or more of the 7 legs of the race. Whichever option chosen, no previous sailing experience is required. All the organisers ask is that participants are over 18 years of age and have a passion to be involved. Applicants will be considered on their basis of their character, strengths and honesty about their weaknesses, not the amount of sailing they have done.

All accepted crew members will undergo an intensive three-week training programme conducted in the United Kingdom by Clipper Ventures between March and June 2005, which will not only enable them to learn all of the required skills, but also to bond with the other members of the crew and learn to sail as a team. By 18 September 2005, the boats and the crew will be ready to set sail from Liverpool, UK and go head-to-head with nine other yachts representing cities from around the world in a gruelling and exceptionally challenging experience of a lifetime.

Mr Peter H L Lim, a Round-the-Worlder in Clipper 96/97, has vivid memories of his experience. "First night out of Plymouth, an Atlantic storm tossed me out of my bunk. Eight days out of Singapore, in the Indian Ocean, a 59-knot (110 kph) blast from Cyclone Rhonda gave the Skipper and crew of Mermerus Clipper a huge scare and a lingering talking point afterwards. In the Pacific, a whale mistook Mermerus for a potential mate and indulged in foreplay all night long, giving up in the morning only after raising its head above water and seeing me at the helm. Everywhere we sailed, we had the company of frolicking dolphins and graceful sea birds. So coming in second instead of first at the end of the 11-month race was bearable, thanks to the dolphins in the free."

All participants who are successfully selected must raise either the fee for the whole circumnavigation of S$87,036 / (£28,500) (including the Training and Clothing package) or the cost of individual race legs, starting from S$9,925 / (£3,250), plus the compulsory S$8,552 / (£2,800) training package.

The Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race, starts from Liverpool on 18 September 2005, setting sail on the first leg of the race for Brazil. Over the course of the 35,000 mile race, the boats will stop in countries all over the world, including Singapore, where the boats are expected to arrive in January 2006. For the duration of their ten-day stay in Singapore, the boats will be moored in Sentosa Cove, which will be ready just in time to play host to the fleet.

Mr Darrell Metzger, Chief Executive of Sentosa Leisure Group commented, “Sentosa Cove is delighted to be a partner of this prestigious international round-the-world yacht race. We look forward to welcoming the ‘Uniquely Singapore’ and the nine other teams to our shores. Sentosa Cove, with the Singapore city skyline as its backdrop and a lush tropical resort island as its playground, will be a distinctive port of call. The Clipper 05-06 will have the special distinction of being the first international yacht race to berth at the new Sentosa Cove Marina. We are especially proud and privileged to be hosting the sailors and the international community at the festival village, which will be set up at Sentosa Cove for the duration of the yachts' stay in Singapore.”

The recruitment process opens today and remains open until 31 January 2005. Further information on the registration process contacting Lucid Communications, representing Clipper Ventures PLC in Singapore, at clippercrew@lucid.com.sg

A crew seminar will also take place at the Singapore Tourism Board, 1 Orchard Spring Lane on Thursday, 2 December and Friday, 3 December from 1730 to 1930. This is open to the public and is free of charge.

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