Clippers confirmed to revisit Albany

Toyah Shakespeare, ALBANY ADVERTISERAlbany Advertiser

Albany will host the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race for a second time next year after a deal was clinched between the City of Albany and Clipper.

City chief executive Graham Foster confirmed “an agreement has been reached” between the two parties, after Albany City Council endorsed entering final negotiations to secure host port rights at a meeting in July.

“The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will visit Albany again next year,” he said.

“The City is now seeking sponsorship to reduce the total cost, which is $150,000.”

Albany hosted the 64,000km Clipper race last November, the local economy enjoying an estimated $810,000 windfall from the event and attracting national and international media attention.

Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Russ Clark said securing the 2015-16 event was “fantastic” and would continue to build Albany’s profile.

“We saw the effects of Clipper last time and now we have the Anzac Albany brand as well, with $40 million spent on infrastructure in town,” he said.

“That we’re able to bring international events is an achievement and a kick-along for the economy.”

Mr Clark said unlike the 2013-14 race, Albany would have a longer lead-in time and would seek funding partners including potential local businesses.

Princess Royal Sailing Club commodore Ian Howard said hosting the event again was another positive marketing opportunity for Albany.

“People on the boats are a cross-section of interesting people from around the world who go back and market our town,” he said.

“Last time there was a real buzz around town.”

In a letter to the City, the Department of Transport said it would explore potential upgrades in time for the 2015 event.

The letter said it would investigate minor dredging to Emu Point channel so Clipper yachts could be lifted out of the water, as well as extending a jetty at the Albany Waterfront Marina.

Albany’s Nicola Edwards, who will be a Clipper crew member next year, said she was excited she would be able to sail into her home port.

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