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Clipper Race to aid Whitsundays’ recovery effort

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has announced it will return to Whitsundays for its 2017-18 edition, with Queensland’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Kate Jones, stating that the event will provide an opportunity to prove the Australian region is “open for business” following the devastation caused by Cyclone Debbie earlier this year.

Whitsundays, which is made up of 74 islands located in the heart of the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef, made its debut in the 2015-16 race, and will now end the All-Australian Leg 4 of the 2017-18 edition.

The Clipper 2017-18 Race’s return to the Whitsundays will be organised in partnership between the Whitsunday Regional Council and Tourism and Events Queensland. Together with Abell Point Marina, they will host a Clipper Race Carnival around the event.

“The Whitsundays is a jewel in our tourism crown so for it to be confirmed as a host port for the Clipper Round the World race is another significant achievement,” Jones said. “We all know the impact of Tropical Cyclone Debbie but we also know the resilience and determination of the people and businesses in the Whitsundays.

“The Whitsunday Clipper Race Carnival is an ideal way to remind the world that the region is open for business and will continue to be a premiere destination not only for sailing enthusiasts but for all visitors.”

The Clipper Race’s other stops in Australia include Fremantle, Western Australia and the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race. The 2017-18 race will start in Liverpool, England on August 20.

Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “Being a Clipper 2017-18 Race Host Port will not only enable the Whitsundays region to host our international crew members but also to continue to promote itself and its beautiful surroundings to our global race community as a leading sailing and tourism destination in the Southern Hemisphere.”