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.
Mary Rose re-opens: £72 for family ticket
Despite a £23 million handout from the Heritage Lottery Fund the custodians of the Mary Rose Trust will be charging a staggering £72 per family ticket to visit the Tudor warship when she re-opens for tourists tomorrow.
The ship was raised from the seabed in 1982 and has had a museum built around her, exhibiting her contents from nit combs – complete with petrified nits – to longbows.its Personal belongings such as wooden eating bowls, leather shoes, musical instruments as well as two tonne guns are on show.
The new Mary Rose Museum will open at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – the very same dockyard at which the warship was built over 500 years ago.
The opening marks 30 years since the year the hull of Mary Rose was raised from the Solent in 1982 and 437 years after she sank on 19 July. The ship sank, with the loss of 450 crew, in full view of King Henry VIII while leading the attack on a French
Now in its 7th year, the annual Fal River Festival celebrates life on the Cornish river over 10 days – The Fal River Festival kicks off tomorrow, a 10-day ‘celebration of life on the river’.
Established in 2006, the annual extravaganza will see more than 150 events taking place, covering music, drama, the arts and heritage, gig racing, swimming, walking and more.
The Fal River Festival traditionally opens with the sailing of the Beer Fleet, which involves crafts of all shapes and sizes joining the fleet of classic ferries to mark the passage of the beer from Truro to Falmouth along the River Fal.
The event, which will run from 24 May until 2 June, is being organised by Truro and Penwith colleges, and last year it attracted more than 100,000 visitors to the area. Being a not-for-profit event, the 2012 festival managed to raise £75,000 for charity while visitors enjoyed 3000 pints of larger, ale and cider.
HMS Ark Royal makes her final voyage…to a Turkish scrapyard
The Royal Navy’s former flagship aircraft carrier, HMS Ark Royal, has left Portsmouth bound for Turkey where she will be scrapped.
A British Olympic sailor has died after a Swedish catamaran capsized during a training session for the America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay.
Andrew “Bart” Simpson – a double Olympic medallist – was one of an 11-man crew on board the Artemis Racing catamaran, the team website said. It said Mr Simpson, 36, from Sherborne in Dorset, was trapped under the boat and efforts to revive him failed.
Artemis is a Swedish team due to take part in the America’s Cup. On its website, Artemis Racing said: “It is with immense sadness that Artemis Racing confirms the tragic death of crewmember Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson today in San Francisco.”
At a news conference by the Bay, Artemis chief executive Paul Cayard said it was a “tragic day” for the crew.
“We have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybody’s wellbeing,” Mr Cayard said, as he offered his thoughts and prayers to Mr Simpson’s wife and family.
Mr Simpson represented Great Britain at two Olympic Games, sailing in the Star class alongside Iain Percy, his Artemis team boss.
The pair took gold at the Beijing 2008 Games and were close at London 2012 to topping the podium once more, only to claim silver in the medal race.
Before last summer’s Olympics, Mr Simpson admitted that winning the America’s Cup was his biggest goal.
John Derbyshire, performance director of the UK’s Royal Yachting Association (RYA), described Simpson as an inspiration to others. “We’re devastated by the news from San Francisco today,” he said.
“Andrew is someone I’ve worked closely with since the age of 16. He was a great talent and a key figure in our World Class Programme over many years culminating in his well-deserved Olympic success.
“He was a huge inspiration to others, both within the British Sailing Team and across the nation and our deepest sympathies go out to his family at this terrible time.”
Stephen Park, RYA Olympic Manager, described Mr Simpson as “a fantastic sailor who got the best out of everyone he sailed with”.
Artemis said that doctors “afloat” with the team tried unsuccessfully to revive the British sailor after he was freed from the wreckage.
San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said that, following the capsize, two sailors were brought to shore and taken to the St Francis Yacht Club where paramedics performed CPR on one of them.
The other person’s injuries were not life-threatening, she said.
The rest of the crew from the capsized boat were transferred to a support boat operated by Oracle Racing, which is defending its America’s Cup title from last year, officials said.
Mr Simpson served as the Swedish team’s strategist.
Lt Jeannie Crump of the Coast Guard said it was not yet clear what caused the 72ft (22m) boat to capsize.
She said that a commercial salvage boat would tow the vessel to Clipper Cove, between Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island.
The America’s Cup is inshore yachting’s premier event, and will take place in San Francisco this year between July and September.
Multi-million pound syndicates use cutting-edge design and technology as the world’s best sailors battle it out for the oldest trophy in sport.
The first race for The “Auld Mug” took place around the Isle of Wight in 1851.
US yacht America won to spark 132 years of US domination until Australia II broke the deadlock in 1983.
Simpson is believed to be the second sailor to have died during training for the race.
In 1999, Martin Wizner of the Spanish Challenge was fatally injured after being struck on the head by a broken piece of equipment.