AST prepares clipper round the world yacht race skippers to set sail with safety critical communicat
The Clipper Race is the only event of its kind for non-professional sailors. With an extensive training programme, professional Skippers, Mates and an eleven strong fleet of Clipper 70 racing yachts, the Clipper Race enables people from all walks of life and all over the world to take on the challenge of a lifetime and become ocean racers.
As the Official Satellite Communications Supplier to the 2019-20 edition, AST has provided a bespoke voice and data services solution to meet the ever-growing operational and media demands of the global yacht race, connecting race organisers to each of the eleven teams 24/7, at every point of the route.
Speaking about the importance of on-board communications, Clipper Race Chairman and Founder, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said: “The reliability of the communication systems on board is key to the successful management and safety of the Clipper Race fleet as the teams traverse some of the most remote areas of the planet.”
He continued, “We are delighted to be working with AST who are providing reliable and secure communications for our operational needs. Additionally, as media demands grow for an event of this scale, they will enable the Clipper Race to increase media output from across the fleet, which will in turn benefit crew, fans and partners alike. It will also equip our crew with valuable connections to their loved ones and supporters back home.”
AST travelled to The Clipper Race HQ in Gosport, UK to provide training on the equipment ahead of the race start, ensuring that all the Skippers and crew were familiar with the products and services provided by AST, and their partner GTMaritime. GTMaritime are a leading maritime software specialist whose optimised and secure email service for Operations and crew welfare solution for the 700 crew members is part of the complete solution; which also includes an automated file transfer solution, to cater for the race media and sponsorship obligations.
Commenting on AST’s bespoke communications solution and training, Jeronimo Santos Gonzalez, Skipper of Punta del Este said: “We had a great session with Chris from AST, it was good to have him here during prep a week ahead of the start of the race. He explained the AST communications systems on board in a clear and simple way. When you are at sea being able to communicate with the outside world is important and with the race management team is crucial. I like simplicity and reliability from my satcoms and they have done the job exactly as I want. Having tried the system, it is easy to use and straight forward to manage.”
Taking almost a year to complete the Clipper Race is a true endurance challenge that will see crew take on all that mother nature has to offer when crossing six oceans, sailing round three capes, visiting six continents and racing over 40,000 nautical miles.Starting from St Katharine Docks, London on 1 September 2019, the global route will visit: Portimao, Portugal; Punta del Este, Uruguay; Cape Town, South Africa; Fremantle, the Whitsundays, Australia; Sanya, Zhuhai and Qingdao, China; Seattle, USA; Panama; New York, USA; Bermuda; Derry Londonderry, Northern Ireland before returning to London 11 months later.