The organisers of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race have confirmed that the 2017/18 edition will begin and end in the English port city of Liverpool.
The world's longest ocean race features 12 boats manned largely by amateur sailors, though led by a professional skipper, navigating 40,000 nautical miles across eight stages.
The 2017/18 Clipper Race will set sail from Liverpool's iconic Albert Dock on 20th August, and arrive back into the city the following July. The 11th edition of the race will include visits to Cape Town, Sydney, Seattle and two stops in the booming sailing market of China, in Sanya and Qingdao.
The Clipper Race last departed from Liverpool in 2007, the most recent of three times it has been a host port. The previous two editions have begun in London's St Katherine Docks.
The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, celebrated the news, saying that as a four-time host, "it really feels like we are the home of the Clipper Race".
“The impact on the local economy as a result of this race will of course be huge, but the pride it will engender in the people of Liverpool is priceless as the international spotlight shines on the city once again," Anderson continued. "We look forward to welcoming the fleet, its crew and supporters.”
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the founder and chairman of the Clipper Race, added: “We are thrilled to announce that the Clipper Race is returning to the historic city of Liverpool. A significant site for UK maritime history, I fondly remember the warm reception we received when Liverpool last hosted the Clipper Race and am looking forward to returning to Albert Dock again this August.
“The Clipper Race has grown enormously in number of participants, yacht entries, economic influence and media value since it was last hosted by Liverpool a decade ago and we are looking forward to putting on an even bigger show in the city this time, which will not just have significant local economic impact, but will also put a maritime spotlight on the city all around the world.”