No Jamaica stop for Clipper yachts in 2012

No Jamaica stop for Clipper yachts in 2012

Written by Editor

Topics: Travel & Leisure

After fielding a vessel in the last two Clipper Round the World Yacht races, which included a stop at the Errol Flynn Marina in beautiful Port Antonio, Portland on each occasion, the 11-12 race will be without a Jamaica-branded yacht and the fleet is set to make a spirited dash from Panama to the United States with no scheduled stop in Jamaica on that leg.

Jamaica Lightning Bolt at the start of Race 4 from Cape Town to Fremantle in 09-10 (Photo credit: Clipper Ventures PLC)

This news comes as a disappointment to the Port Antonio business community, as the Clipper race has been providing a biennial boom to commercial activity in the town. The image of ten sleek, stripped down 68-foot yachts moored at the Errol Flynn Marina is a sight to behold and the rooms in the town benefit from solid bookings from the crew, new members signing on for the next race/leg, visiting family and friends and representatives of the Clipper organisation.

Dale B. Westin, general manager of the Errol Flynn Marina, told Pree Jamaica that the Clipper race would be missed in Port Antonio and he was hopeful that it would return.

“It’s always been a popular event and a good tourism builder for Port Antonio. We won’t be hosting them in 2012, but we are looking forward to welcome them back with open arms in 2014.”

The crews of Jamaica and Hull & Humber at the start of Race 9 from Santa Cruz, USA to Panama City in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race (Photo credit: Natasha Cholorton-Brown/onEdition)

Jamaica in Miraflores Locks, Panama Canal before the start of Race 10 from Panama to Jamaica in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race. (Photo credit: Heather Ewing/onEdition)

Crew members of the Jamaica Clipper 07-08

Clipper yachts at the Errol Flynn Marina

The Clipper yachts first came to Port Antonio during the 05-06 race under fortuitous circumstances. A delay in the Philippines forced the organisers to revise the route and move the stopover from Curacao to Jamaica in order to take advantage of more favourable winds and a more expedient route through the Caribbean.

Buoyed by the success of hosting the Clipper fleet, Jamaica fielded entries in the 07-08 and 09-10 races, with the yacht in the latter race being named “Jamaica Lightning Bolt” in honour of Jamaican sprint champ Usain Bolt. Although finishing 10th in 07-08 and 5th in 09-10, the Jamaica Clipper garnered significant publicity for the island by participating in the 10-month, 35,000-mile challenge around the world. The Clipper Round The World Yacht Race the only global ocean race open to everyone, regardless of background and sailing ability. The ten stripped down 68-foot racing yachts are each sponsored by an international city, region or country.

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