Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston offer a once-in-a-lifetime sailing experience

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THE trip of a lifetime is up for grabs thanks to sailing legends Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Sir Ben Ainslie.

They have announced that one person, aged between 18 and 24, will have the chance to sail on a Clipper yacht for the Pacific Ocean leg of the next Clipper Around the World Yacht Race.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Sir Ben Ainslie demonstrate the living conditions of the Clipper yacht where a prize winner will spend up to one month while crossing the Pacific in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race''. Picture: Paul Jacobs (142680-1)

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Sir Ben Ainslie demonstrate the living conditions of the Clipper yacht where a prize winner will spend up to one month while crossing the Pacific in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race''. Picture: Paul Jacobs (142680-1)

The prize, worth more than £10,000, has been donated by Sir Robin to the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation which was set up by Sir Ben in memory of his friend, who died in a yachting accident off the coast of America while training for the America’s Cup in May last 
year.

Andrew, known as Bart, used to sail at Hayling Island.

Sir Robin, who lives in Portsmouth, said: ‘This is something I very strongly support. When you put a youngster among a whole lot of other people from all walks of life on a boat it really boosts their confidence.

‘They could be with the chief executive of a company and they realise they can do the same things at their age as the chief executive can. It boosts their self-confidence.

16/9/14  ''Not just two Knights to sleep on a bunk aboard a Clipper, but a whole month for the prize winner ''Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of the Clipper Race and Sir Ben Ainslie, founding patron of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, demonstrate the living conditions of the Clipper 70 where the prize winner will spend up to one month whilst crossing the Pacific in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142680-3) PPP-140916-201329001

16/9/14 ''Not just two Knights to sleep on a bunk aboard a Clipper, but a whole month for the prize winner ''Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of the Clipper Race and Sir Ben Ainslie, founding patron of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, demonstrate the living conditions of the Clipper 70 where the prize winner will spend up to one month whilst crossing the Pacific in the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142680-3) PPP-140916-201329001

‘We are in a very privileged position to be able to make an offer like this to a young person.’

The announcement was made at the PSP Southampton Boat show and is a nationwide competition.

Ed Collison, from Fareham, was 18 years old when he completed the latest Clipper race.

He thinks this is a fantastic opportunity for the lucky winner.

He said: ‘This is a very generous prize and a fantastic opportunity for someone to experience the race.

‘The Pacific Ocean leg of the race is difficult but if you can do it, you achieve so much.’

The 2015/16 race starts next summer and the winner will be sailing 5,500 miles from China to the west coast of America. Sir Ben added: ‘It is really exciting for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation to be able to provide this opportunity for a young person to compete in such a challenging race.

‘It really will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the competition winner.’

Nominate young people to win a place in the race

YOUNG people can be nominated to win the chance to sail across the Pacific.

Clipper Round the World, based in Gosport, has joined forces with the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation to offer someone aged 18 to 24 to be a crew member for the next Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Anyone in the UK can be nominated and no sailing experience is needed. You just have to provide reasons why you are nominating the young person.

An application can be downloaded at andrewsimpsonfoundation.co.uk/news.

The closing date is November 14.

To read The News’ view on the Clipper sailing opportunity click here.