BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT ON: WHITSUNDAYS
RACE 6 WRAP UP
The third and final stage of the All-Australia Leg 4, a 1,600 nautical mile race from Hobart to the Whitsundays, began on Friday 5 January and quickly turned into one of the toughest races of the Clipper 2017-18 Race so far. From the upwind slog up the southeast coast of Australia, to Southerly Busters in the waters off Queensland, which resulted in 80 knot winds and a lightning strike to Qingdao, Race 6: The Wondrous Whitsundays Race tested both the skill and character of the Clipper Race crew.
Only seven nautical miles separated Visit Seattle, PSP Logistics, Sanya Serenity Coast, and Liverpool 2018 on the eleventh and final morning, and whilst it was close right until the end, Visit Seattle held on to claim a maiden victory and second podium for the All-Australian Leg 4.
Liverpool 2018 was the fourth team across the line but after the Clipper Race Committee handed a six-hour penalty to Sanya Serenity Coast for breaching the two-nautical mile exclusion zone from all coastline, islands and off lying hazards in the course instructions, Liverpool 2018 was boosted into third place, the team’s first podium of the Clipper 2017-18 Race.
Sanya Serenity Coast officially finished Race 6 in eighth place, but after picking up three bonus points for crossing the Scoring Gate in first place, Wendy Tuck’s team will finish the All-Australian Leg on top of the overall standings. Sanya Serenity Coast is on 65 points, two points ahead of Qingdao, whilst Visit Seattle is in third with 60 points.
WHITSUNDAYS CLIPPER RACE CARNIVAL
A consortium of partners including Tourism Whitsundays, Whitsundays Regional Council and Abell Point Marina have created a global showcase of what the region has to offer through the successful delivery of the inaugural Clipper Race Carnival. The two wondrous weeks of activities were designed to promote the highlights of the Whitsundays to the international crew and its global media following, aiming to raise the profile of the region as a holiday destination and growing sailing hub.
The programme of events was launched with an official Welcome Party, held alongside Airlie Beach foreshore. The crew were presented with the ‘Key to the Heart of the Whitsundays’ by the regional council leaders before a relaxed evening of live music and a stunning firework display above the beach.
One of the focus events, which attracted tourists from across Australia as well as internationally, was the ultra-exclusive White on Whitehaven Long Lunch. After being greeted on Whitehaven Beach with champagne and canapes, the Skippers and crew joined the other 300 guests for a long table lunch, and feasted on the brilliant seafood that Far North Queensland is renowned for.
Nell Wyatt, a circumnavigator on board Garmin, said: “We had the most amazing day on Whitehaven. We were standing on the most amazing beach covered in unspoiled white sand and all around are deep turquoise seas. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve seen and looks better in person than in all the brochures.”
Crew attending these events enable the region to share its message globally leaving them with lasting impressions. The Progressive Lunch event saw guests visit three beautiful locations across the Whitsundays region, including the normally private azure waters of Paradise Cove. Crew member Rose Todd, on board Qingdao, said: “It’s really one of the great joys of doing the Clipper Race that you get to see these places and this is really right up there at the top of the list of amazing places to go. It’s all just been absolutely incredible here and we’re just making the most of it. The best stopover so far and we still have lots of time left to explore further.”
The Whitsundays is not just about islands and beaches; it is also about culture and Australian life, and this was prominent at the first ever Rodeo by the Reef, enabling nearly 100 crew and thousands of locals and tourists alike to experience a traditional Australian rodeo with the stunning backdrop of the Whitsundays.
The organisers of the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival used Ben Southall, winner of Best Job in the World, as the key host to encourage awareness and drive social media coverage.
IMPACT OF WHITSUNDAYS STOPOVER
Crew feedback on the Whitsundays stopover was overwhelmingly positive. During the stopover, Seattle-based crew member Marek Omilian made the most of being in one of the most naturally beautiful locations on earth, commenting: “I’ve done everything here in the Whitsundays. I was looking forward to spending time on land but I spent most of my time on the water. From Whitehaven beach. which was gorgeous, to jet skiing, to Great Barrier Reef snorkelling, I just had some great experiences.”
He wasn’t alone in having great experiences. Other members of the Clipper Race crew went skydiving, some drove into the hinterland surrounding Airlie Beach, and one HotelPlanner.com crew member in particular, Nic Schellenberg, has had an All-Australian Leg 4 to remember. The team’s win in the Clipper 70 class in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was a highlight, but his time in the Whitsundays has been just as memorable: “I went diving at the Yongala Wreck which was pretty amazing. Diving on the Great Barrier Reef was one of the things I really wanted to do and I got to tick that off which was really cool. We saw sea snakes, different types of rays, big fish, small fish, and a lot of coral!”
After achieving a AU$1m economic boost from the fleet’s pit-stop in 2016, the consortium has invested in conducting a full research study into the economic impact of the stopover.
To support the aim of developing the Whitsundays as a sailing hub on the East Coast, the consortium hosted a Media Familiarisation trip that included representatives from outlets/properties such as Ocean Media, Afloat and Newscorp.
Highlights of the media coverage included, but are not limited to: Channel 9, Channel 7 News, Queensland Weekender (Channel 7), 4MK Radio, ABC Tropical North Radio, Whitsunday Times, Sail World Online, Ocean Magazine Online, Global News, de Telegraaf, the Holiday and Travel magazine and BBC 1 South.
**This story will be updated with the details and findings of the economic impact report once the report has been published.
OFFICIAL SUPPLIERS UTILISE VIDEO CONTENT TO SHOWCASE THEIR PRODUCTS
Coppercoat, Sta-Lok and TIMEZERO by MaxSea all took the opportunity, during the Whitsundays stopover, to create engaging video and imagery showcasing how their products are used on the 40,000 nautical mile Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Raising product awareness is a key objective of several partners of the race, and the growing use of video marketing provides a great opportunity for partners to get creative and provide their audience with exciting behind-the-scenes content.
Coppercoat took advantage of the clear waters in Airlie Beach to capture some underwater imagery and video demonstrating how its antifoul reduces biofouling, helping to keep hulls clean and the race fleet moving as fast as possible. Sta-Lok’s video included the help of the Clipper Race Maintenance Team’s Fleet Riggers to take a look at the high-quality fittings for stainless steel wire rope and wire rope assemblies used on the yachts. Whilst TIMEZERO by MaxSea created a piece demonstrating how a Clipper Race Skipper can use its cutting-edge navigation software to easily display different features such as wind speed, wave height, ocean currents and a host of other interesting possibilities to help them make those all-important race decisions.
All three videos will be shared on both the partner and Clipper Race social media channels in the coming weeks with partners aiming to benefit from the global race following to generate interest in their brand and products.
TV SERIES AIRS ON SKY SPORTS
The Race of Their Lives 3, the award-winning official documentary series about the Clipper Race has been on TV channels globally and the most recent episode has just completed a run on Sky Sports between 2 – 12 February 2018.
Race of Their Lives 3, Episode 2, the second of seven hour-long episodes about the Clipper 2017-18 Race, sees the Clipper Race fleet depart Punta del Este, Uruguay in search of Cape Town, South Africa and features a big homecoming for members of the Dare To Lead team entry.
After departing Cape Town, the Clipper Race fleet sets sail on an incredibly tough and emotional leg to Fremantle, known as the most challenging in Clipper Race history.
The episode will next be airing on Fox Australia at the following times:
15/02/2018, 21:30 FOX4
18/02/2018, 04:00 FOXM
Race of Their Lives is produced by 1080 Media and last year the series won ‘Best Sports Documentary – UK’ at the TMT Media Awards 2016.Global channels which have signed up to take the series include: Fox Australia, Fox Asia, Fox Europe, Fox Africa, OSN, be In sport (Asia and Australia), Astro Malaysia, Arena Sport (Baltics), Eleven Network (Poland, Taiwan, USA, Singapore, Belgium and Italy), Nautical channel (available worldwide), Supersport (Pan Southern Africa), Kwese (Pan Africa), IYQI (China), Watersports World (available worldwide) and Virgin Bulgaria.
Episode 3 is scheduled to air on Sky Sports in early April. The full Race of Their Lives 3 documentary will also be available to purchase at the end of the Clipper 2017-18 Race.
UNICEF RAISES ITS PROFILE OF COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE IN FIJI TO A GLOBAL AUDIENCE
The Whitsundays stopover provided another unique opportunity for Unicef to showcase more of the important work it does internationally, and show how funds raised by Clipper Race crew and supporters are utilised. Although 1,700 nautical miles apart, the Unicef crew, in the plush surroundings of Abell Point Marina, linked up with Unicef Fiji via Skype where a number of Fijian children spoke about the impact climate change has had on their lives and the important work that Unicef is doing in their communities to combat it.
Unicef’s objective of the activation was to profile and raise awareness of the long-term work that Unicef does in communities related to the welfare of children, which, at times gets overshadowed by the aftermath and relief work that Unicef is heavily involved with which immediately follows on from a disaster. As the Clipper Race fleet came close to Fiji on their 40,000-nautical mile journey around the world, Unicef saw the opportunity to utilise its partnership with the Clipper Race.
Children from all across Fiji travelled to Suva, where Unicef Fiji is based, to speak via Skype to selected Unicef crew members showcasing how their schools had changed over the years to cater for the changes in climate change. In addition to educating crew about the long-term work that Unicef implements in Fiji, the activation also enabled children from varying backgrounds the opportunity to see first-hand (via mobile connection) the Clipper Race Unicef branded yacht and get a personal tour around the Clipper 70 to understand what life is like on board an ocean racing yacht.
The interactive Skype call was picked up by a lot of regional media, including TV and online, which included outlets such as the Fiji Times, Fiji Sun Online, and at a broader scale such as the ABC, providing great exposure forUnicef’s local programmes. Unicef Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett said: “Not only is this an opportunity for the children to educate others on the important actions Unicef and the Fijian Government are taking to address climate change, it’s an opportunity for the crew to learn more about the Pacific countries, and issues affecting the children living here, as they sail past in the next leg of their journey to China to raise funds to improve the lives of children around the world.”
DELL RUGGED WORKSTATION CUSTOMER AND PARTNER ADVISORY COUNCIL EVENT
Outside of the busy stopover schedule, keeping abreast of our partner’s developments, products and services is key for us to ensure that we can support and promote these accordingly across the Clipper Race. With this in mind we took the opportunity to attend and participate in the Dell Rugged customer and partner advisory council event in London on Thursday 25 January.
The event’s objectives were to bring together Dell professionals and their customers to discuss the functionality of the products and services within a number of fields. The Clipper Race took the opportunity to present how the Dell Latitude Rugged workstations enable the race to communicate, plan and operate globally under the toughest conditions and shared our story alongside organisations such as the Royal Marines and a jungle testing organisation.
We also heard from Shannon Mackay, Global Vice President for Latitude Rugged who discussed the development of the products and their ambitions for the future. In addition to this Shannon and her colleague Leslie Fleischmann, Product Launch Manager for Latitude Rugged, took the time to evaluate the products, opening up the floor for the discussion of future functionalities and configurations for the devices.
The Clipper Race attended and presented our partnership story at a number of other Dell Customer events in Reading, Bolton and London.