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The world’s longest ocean race is calling for more people from Leinster to take on the challenge of a lifetime and achieve something extraordinary in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race.

Race organisers will host a talk at the National Yacht Club in Dublin on Saturday 31 January alongside former local race alumni Conor O’Byrne from County Meath who will talk to potential future crew about his personal experience on the global challenge, also known as one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges.

Conor O’Byrne, a 40 year old Garda from County Meath was one of seventeen Irish crew took part in the Clipper 2013-14 Race, many of whom had no previous sailing experience.  Conor circumnavigated the globe on the Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht and spent more than eleven months at sea crossing Mother Nature’s toughest oceans.

Throughout his adventure, Conor was instrumental in the rescue of a crew member who had gone overboard and experienced the euphoria of winning the race into Lough Foyle in front of a home crowd.

Conor says: “For about 20 years I had a desire to sail around the world to test myself against elements of nature.  With the Clipper Race, I feel I have more than achieved my goal!  I have had experiences which will last with me a lifetime.  Experiences that only a few will understand or ever get the chance to live through. It was a huge decision to sign up, but one I will never regret.”

Now in its nineteenth year, the Clipper Race, which was founded by legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world in 1968/9 is unique. It is the only event where people from all walks of life, regardless of previous sailing experience, can race around the world under sail.

The Clipper 2015-16 Race will start on Sunday, 31 August 2015 from the South of England, returning almost a year later after completing eight challenging race legs which will take crew across six continents and many of the world’s most remote oceans.

80 per cent of crew places are now filled but there are still places available on most legs. Crew can sign up to complete either the full circumnavigation or individual legs, and all training is provided in the overall cost.

Each of the fleet of 12 yachts is sponsored by a company, city, region or country around the world and is led by a professional skipper. Derry-Londonderry will be represented for the third consecutive time in the biennial event. The former 2013 City of Culture will host and enter a yacht in the race in the next edition, following the success of its campaign skippered by local man Sean McCarter last year.

Clipper Race recruiter and circumnavigator in the 2009-10 race, Della Parsons says: “I can’t wait to get out there and meet more people that want to be part of this unique challenge and join the elite group of ocean racers.

“More and more people are looking for something different these days, something extraordinary that will really push their limits and test the boundaries of what they thought they were capable of. It’s my job to make them aware that it’s here.”

For those wishing to find out about the race, former Clipper Race crew members and race recruiter Della Parsons will be talking on the following dates:

Saturday 31 January – Dublin – National Yacht Club, 10.30pm
Monday 2 February – Cork – Royal Cork Yacht Club, 6.30pm
Wednesday 4 February – Galway – Harbour Hotel, 6.30pm

To RSVP attendance please email dparsons@clipper-ventures.com.



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