Seattle will be a first-time sponsor in the Clipper 2015-16 Race, using the race’s global marketing platform to promote the destination for leisure and business travel. The ‘Emerald City’ in Washington State will be represented by its yacht, Visit Seattle, named for the destination’s tourism organization, with the city being publicised at key ports during the 40,000 mile circumnavigation. As a host port, the Port of Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina will welcome the crew at the end of the Mighty Pacific Leg 6 from Qingdao, China next April.
The matched fleet of twelve 70-foot ocean-racing yachts will arrive in Seattle for approximately ten days after a gruelling month-long race across the challenging waters of the north Pacific. Hundreds of crew, friends, family and supporters will have a well-earned break and get to explore the city and Washington State.
“Bell Harbor Marina, located right at the foot of the city, offers first-class accommodation for these impressive vessels, and we are looking forward to putting this marina on the world stage, “said Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle Commission co-president. “As we welcome new visitors to Seattle, we’re helping to create jobs and economic opportunities for our citizens.”
“The race gives us a great opportunity to take the iconic image of our skyline across the globe and helps to position our city as an exciting, international destination,” added Tom Norwalk, President and CEO of Visit Seattle.
The Visit Seattle team will be skippered by British Skipper Huw Fernie, 31, from Cornwall. He said: "I am proud to be representing a fast-growing destination home to some of the world's best-known brands. As we go round the world, my team and I will be spreading the message about Seattle, its visitor attractions and expanding industry. The opportunity to sail into and explore our home port after crossing the mighty Pacific Ocean will be a highlight of this circumnavigation. With so many recent success stories from Seattle’s business sector, I am hoping my team can recreate this winning form on the water too."
Visit Seattle yacht will depart from Seattle to kick-start the American coast-to-coast leg of the Clipper Race from Seattle to New York City, via the Panama Canal before returning to London in July 2016.
Located at the north western reach of the USA, Seattle is a city surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests. Known as the cruise gateway of choice to Alaska, Seattle is also home to a thriving technology industry – headquarters to Microsoft, Amazon.com, Boeing, Starbucks and more. The futuristic Space Needle, a legacy of the 1962 World’s Fair, is a worldwide recognized landmark.
Seattle can be reached by air from the UK in just over 9 hours. Direct flights operate daily from London Heathrow and regional connections are also available via Amsterdam and Iceland.