Clipper Race buys sailing school and looks to China

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THE company behind a round-the-world yacht race has bought a sailing school as part of its expansion. 

Clipper Ventures, the parent company of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, based in Gosport, has bought Hamble School of Yachting.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston stands on the deck of his boat Suhaili on which he became the first person to sail non stop around the world 50 years ago. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston stands on the deck of his boat Suhaili on which he became the first person to sail non stop around the world 50 years ago. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Clipper Race chairman and co-founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, from Old Portsmouth, said: ‘The decision to buy Hamble School of Yachting is part of a wider strategy to develop our offering within the offshore sailing industry.

‘Clipper Ventures is the world’s leading provider of offshore sail training and Hamble School of Yachting is one of the RYA’s leading sail training schools in the UK which makes us a strong match.

‘We welcome Chris and his team to the Clipper Ventures family and look forward to an exciting future of maintaining ourselves as the Gold Standard for sail training.’ 

Hamble School of Yachting has been running for more than 35 years, helping people to learn to sail by providing a range of RYA sailing courses and lessons, from beginner to professional level.

Chris Rushton, from Hamble School of Yachting

Chris Rushton, from Hamble School of Yachting

The acquisition comes at an exciting time for Clipper Ventures which recently announced Clipper China, its Chinese sail training division set up to meet the country’s growing participation in offshore sailing. 

Chris Rushton, Principal of Hamble School of Yachting, said: ‘The Hamble School of Yachting is well established in the UK sail training industry but to link up with Clipper Ventures and be able to share our commitment to increasing sailing participation and top-class standards on a truly global level makes this a very exciting move, especially given the growing opportunities to lead the industry in China. 

‘There is a huge crossover in what we both do and ultimately we are looking forward to working together to get more people out on the water and train them to the highest possible standards.’ 

In addition to growing both businesses through their networks of crew and students, they are hoping to develop the Clipper Race talent pools.

Clipper Race

Clipper Race

The Clipper Race is a challenge like no other and whilst 40 per cent of crew have never sailed before, it is an equally tough and enticing accomplishment for those with existing sailing qualifications.

Clipper Race crew members often go on to formalise their Clipper Race training through the RYA training programme, with many crew from previous editions completing the Yachtmaster Offshore and Ocean qualifications. 

Hamble School of Yachting will retain its existing name and branding, and will sit alongside Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, Clipper Events and Clipper China under the Clipper Ventures umbrella.