Clipper Race fleet salutes Queen in New York flotilla

Ten British registered 68 foot yachts participating in the world’s longest ocean race formed up into a spectacular ‘Parade of Sail’ in New York this afternoon (GMT) with the lead boats flying huge GREAT Britain spinnaker sails in a salute to Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Parade of sailThe Clipper Round the World Yacht Race flotilla flew their GREAT Britain spinnakers by the Statue of Liberty before being welcomed by hundreds of people waving British flags in North Cove Marina in front of the World Financial Center at lunch time (local time).

Today’s event happened at the same time as 1000 boats participated in a flotilla in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in London. The Clipper Race founder and chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-9, is participating in the Avenue of Sail in the boat Suhaili he took around the world over forty years ago. Tomorrow he flies out to New York to join the GREAT Britain celebrations and promotions taking place in Manhattan.

Flying the GREAT Britain spinnakers were British entries Welcome to Yorkshire and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital.

Upon arrival into North Cove Marina, Welcome to Yorkshire skipper Rupert Dean said, “What an immensely proud moment for us to be flying these GREAT Britain spinnakers here in New York, while the whole of Britain celebrates Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee today. I’m very excited that we as crew and skippers of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race have paid our tribute to the country.”

The ten entries and crew represent global destinations, including the ‘home boat’ New York, the only US entry in the 40,000 mile race.

The UK has a GREAT heritage and this ‘parade of sail’ marks a milestone historical event, HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, an occasion being marked across the Commonwealth and here in the US. This is the beginning of a remarkable period for the UK; the Olympic Torch run is making its way across Britain and will reach its destination on 27 July, when The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games begin. The heritage for the modern Olympics and the Paralympics began in the UK.

The GREAT campaign is an international initiative to promote trade and tourism for GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland. The campaign has been developed on behalf of the Prime Minister, working with colleagues at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK Trade & Investment, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, VisitBritain, and the British Council. The campaign offers a chance for the whole world to discover everything that the UK has to offer, as one of the best places in the world to live, work, visit, invest and do business.