The first yacht in the Clipper Round the World yacht race has arrived in Fremantle to a traditional Aussie BBQ, ice-cold beer and music.
The Durban Clipper crossed the Fremantle finish last night at 10.50pm, followed by Victoria Canada 11.26pm.
Overall leader in the seven-leg race, westernaustralia.com, arrived at Fishing Boat Harbour at 4.53am today.
Tourism Minister Mark McGowan, who will visit Fishing Boat Harbour today to welcome the skippers and crew, said the remaining eight yachts would cross the finish line at various stages over the coming weekend.
“There is a fantastic atmosphere at the race village and everyone is enjoying the festivities,” Mr McGowan said.
“I urge all Western Australians to come down over the next two weeks to enjoy the live entertainment, face painters, music and outdoor radio broadcasts.
“People will be able to see the yachts, chat with crew members and soak up the atmosphere.”
Mr McGowan said the Gallop Government had provided around $900,000 to secure host port status for Fremantle and naming rights to the yacht ‘westernaustralia.com’.
“Fremantle is the only Australian host port in the 10-month, 35,000 nautical mile race around the globe,” he said.
“With yachts from New York, Liverpool, Canada, Jersey, China, Cardiff, Durban, Glasgow and Singapore participating in the race, we expect WA will receive significant media coverage as a result.
“In addition to the media coverage, we are expecting about $2million will be injected into the local economy as a result of hosting hundreds of crew family and supporters in Fremantle.
“Each dollar that is spent in WA helps create jobs and opportunities for locals, which is why the Gallop Government is working hard to grow the tourism industry and secure high-yield events for the State.”
Mr McGowan said the yachts would be farewelled with a street parade and fireworks on New Year’s Eve before the restart on New Year’s Day.
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