THE Clipper Round the World Yacht Race ends in Liverpool today, eleven-months after setting sail.

A host of events is planned and thousands of spectators are expected to line the riverside to welcome the crew back to the city for what promises to be a thrilling sprint to the finish, marking the end of the 40,000 nautical mile race.

Teams will race up the River Mersey to the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool entrance marking the finish point.

The city's deputy mayor and cabinet member for culture, tourism and events, Cllr Wendy Simon, said: "I encourage as many people as possible to head to the waterfront to give the vessels and their crews a warm Liverpool welcome and congratulate them on the mammoth adventure they have undertaken for the past 11 months.

"It will be a great family day out with a programme of performances and activities taking place at the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool which includes live music, street theatre, arts and crafts, all in celebration of this inspirational global event."

Since leaving Liverpool on August 20 last year teams have raced to twelve different destinations across six continents.

They have experienced everything from the challenge of the windless doldrums whilst crossing the Atlantic to storms, which have including hurricane force winds and waves over 14 meters high in the North Pacific, and temperatures from bitter cold in the Southern Ocean to searing heat across the equator.

The route has seen the fleet visit Punta del Este in Uruguay, Cape Town in South Africa; Fremantle, Sydney, Hobart and The Whitsundays – Australia, Sanya and Qingdao – China, Seattle – USA, Panama, New York – USA and Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

The schedule of events is as follows:

Saturday, July 28 - Clipper Race finish day:

9am-6pm: Race Village open and Clipper Race Dome open, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool

9.30am-10.30am: Sprint Race Finish in front of Royal Albert Dock Liverpool, watch the action from the riverside

11.15am-11.45am Parade of Sail on the River Mersey

Midday: Fleet to enter Royal Albert Dock Liverpool

Midday until 6pm: Animation programme begins at Royal Albert Dock Liverpool

2.15pm: Public Prize Giving at Royal, Museum of Liverpool, near Royal Albert Dock Liverpool

Sunday, July 29:

10am-5pm: Race Village and Clipper Race Dome open, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool

Midday-5pm: Animation programme at Royal Albert Dock Liverpool

11am-4pm: Clipper Race Open Boats, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool. Take a free tour of one of the Clipper 70 racing yachts fresh from completing its third circumnavigation of the planet and hear first-hand about what life is like racing across the world’s oceans from crew members.

Monday, July 30 to Sunday, August 5 – free event:

10am–6pm: Clipper Race Open Boats – FREE tours of the bright pink Liverpool 2018 team yacht fresh from its circumnavigation will be running all week at Royal Albert Dock Liverpool.

Step on board to hear about what it takes to race across the world’s oceans.

Tuesday, July 31 – 6pm: Clipper Race Public Talk, Holiday Inn Express, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool

Saturday, August 4: 10am - Clipper Race Public Talk, Holiday Inn Express, Royal Albert Dock Liverpool

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