London will be the start and finish line for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
The race will begin in September and sailors will cover 40,000 miles and six continents before returning to the capital in July 2014.
Up to 650 international crews will begin and end the world’s longest ocean race in front of Tower Bridge. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who founded the race in 1996, made the announcement with London Mayor Boris Johnson.
‘Best of human spirit’ – Sir Robin, who in 1968-69 became the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, said: “What better place to host the start and finish than London, in front of one of the best known landmarks in the world.
“This will be the first time the capital has hosted a global yacht race start and finish.”
Mr Johnson said: “Those who take part are an inspiration to us all and exhibit the very best of the human spirit.”
This year the third generation Clipper 70 ocean racing yacht will participate in the race. The 12-strong matched fleet will be hosted in a race village at St Katharine Docks, which is the official Clipper Race start and finish port.