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MORE than 40 business people have taken part in a hospitality event with a bracing difference on the Solent.

They crewed four stripped-down Clipper vessels from the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet, racing over three legs on the Solent between historic Portsmouth Harbour and Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

The sixth annual Smith & Williamson Clipper Challenge was hosted by the south coast office of accountancy and investment management group Smith & Williamson in association with Gosport-based Clipper Events, a long-standing client.

Measuring 68 feet from bow to stern and with a 90ft mast, the yachts are the world’s largest fleet of matched ocean-racing yachts.

Crews, supported by professional skippers and mates from Clipper Events, comprised staff and clients from Smith & Williamson practices in the region.

Andrew Yonge, senior financial planning consultant, lifted the sail-shaped trophy aloft after his team took the honours with three successive victories.