Celebrations for yacht launch

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Crew on board England’s only entry in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race were given a Royal Navy send off as they began their 40,000 mile adventure.

The crew had visited Whitby last month prior to departing on the round-the-world race for the announcement that Welcome to Yorkshire would take part in the race, taking the county global.

The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious led the Clipper fleet to the start line at Cowes, Isle of Wight, surrounded by hundreds of other boats as part of the traditional start flotilla, late on Sunday afternoon.

The race visits 14 ports on six continents and pits Yorkshire against entrants from eight other countries including America, Australia and China.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “To have England’s only boat in the race is wonderful.

“We are excited by that responsibility and we will be doing our upmost to ensure Yorkshire and England are at the forefront of people’s minds, as well as leading the race, as we make our way around the world.”

To celebrate the start of the race and Yorkshire Day, the Welcome to Yorkshire crew challenged the nine other boats in the race to celebrate Yorkshire Day too by providing them with a selection of Yorkshire food and drink to host their own tea party en route to Madeira.

Mr Verity added: “There’s nothing more English than a tea party and no-one does afternoon tea better than Yorkshire.

“This is just a taster of the kind of event Welcome to Yorkshire will be hosting in ports around the world to celebrate everything that is great about our county and to raise the profile of one of England’s finest holiday directions.”

Clipper Ventures evaluated the media coverage for Hull and Humber’s in the last two races as in excess of US$17.2m, with a cumulative global audience in excess of almost 320m people seeing the boat.