Skippers are fired up for Clipper Round the World race

The boardwalks at Port Solent this evening, as visitors enjoyed the Festival of Christmas

Festival of Christmas draws hundreds of shoppers and traders to Port Solent

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CREWS of the Clipper Race yachts were excited to leave Gosport Marina this morning.

The 12 yachts left the marina and will perform a parade of sails alongside the Spinnaker Tower before heading off to London.

As the boats left the marina, other crews waved goodbye and wished them luck for their quick journey to the capitol where they will have their final prep week.

The Round the World Clipper Yacht Race gets under way on August 31 in London with the first leg finishing in Rio.

Greg Miller, one of the Hampshire sailors picked as a race skipper, says the team are feeling apprehensive and excited about the challenge.

He said: ‘We’re feeling apprehensive, a little bit excited and just raring to go.’

Jim Prendergast, also a skipper, added: ‘I’m quite relieved today’s finally here.

‘The guys are very excited and it’s the beginning of an adventure.’