CLIPPER Ventures, the British organiser of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, has announced the biggest expansion in its 23 year history with the opening of a new Chinese based division, to meet the country’s growing participation in sailing.
Named Clipper China, this new division aims to become the industry leader in the development of offshore sail training and sailing events across China.

In addition to running its own academies, Clipper China is building its own one-design keelboats and offshore racing yacht fleets. Designed by British naval architect Tony Castro, the fleets will be used in the new training academies and also compete in regattas.

Announcing the news at the first China Sailing Cities Forum in Beijing, William Ward, CEO and co-founder of Clipper Ventures, said: ‘Clipper Ventures is the biggest single provider of offshore sail training in the world. We have trained over 5,000 sailors to participate in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race over the past two decades, however the potential for sailing in China means it could take us just a couple of years to train the same number here.

‘Interest in sailing in China has never been higher. China has featured on the Clipper Race route for the past 14 years and we have signed two additional teams here in the past two years. Out of over 40 nationalities of crew on the Clipper Race, China is now our third highest represented.

• The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has confirmed that Dale Smyth is to join its race office team after being appointed deputy race director.

Dale, who has gained extensive first hand experience of the circuit after Skippering the Dare to Lead team in 2017-18 edition, is British born but regarded as one of South Africa’s most respected offshore sailors after racing and instructing there for over 20 years.

He takes over from outgoing deputy race director Tom Way who recently decided to leave the Clipper Race after seven years with the organisation.