Scotland’s only entry into the world’s longest round the world sailing challenge was officially revealed today (Wednesday 28th August) as an international crew from the Clipper Round the World Race were piped on board the 70ft ‘Old Pulteney’ yacht at St Katharine Docks in London.
Led by their skipper Patrick van der Zijden – known as the ‘flying Dutchman’ but today wearing a traditional Highland kilt in honour of sponsor and ‘maritime malt’ Old Pulteney single malt Scotch whisky – the boat was then christened by Clipper founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Old Pulteney Senior Brand Manager Margaret Mary Clarke.
The Old Pulteney is one of a fleet of 12 super yachts which will depart London this Sunday (1st September) on a year long voyage around the world, stopping in the northern French Port of Brest before a tour that will take in Rio, Cape Town, Australia, Singapore, Qingdao, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York and Londonderry – concluded by a homecoming in London in July 2014.
The crew is made up of men and women from all walks of life – from retired engineers to taxi drivers to housewives – who give up their normal lives to train and take on the adventure of a lifetime. Scots, Adam Nunn from Dundee and Charles Slater, who originates from Orkney are amongst them, along with people from twelve different countries – the UK, the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Portugal and Spain.
On christening the boat with Old Pulteney 12 Year Old, Sir Robin commented: ‘I am very pleased to officially launch Old Pulteney today. Their sponsorship of the Clipper Race truly cements them as the genuine ‘Maritime Malt’. As a first time team sponsor, we welcome them aboard and wish them a safe and successful journey.’
Margaret Mary Clarke added: ‘This is a thrilling day for Old Pulteney and we are extremely proud to see our boat take its place amongst the Clipper fleet as we get ready for the start of the race on Sunday. With Old Pulteney growing in popularity in markets all over the world, it’s very fitting for us to be taking a dram in such spectacular style to ports around the globe. We wish Patrick and our crew the very best of luck as they set out on their exciting voyage.’
Over 650 crew members from over 40 nationalities are set to take part in Clipper 2013-14 Race, which starts Sunday, 1 September from St Katharine Dock, London. The Clipper Race fleet is made up of twelve brand new identical ocean racers with each one sponsored by a different destination or brand.
The Clipper Race generates intense global media coverage and provides a powerful marketing platform for global brands. Old Pulteney plans to utilise this platform in each of its key territories through brand activations and awareness exercises which will be announced as the race progresses.