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Keppel Corp. : Upbeat farewell as the Clipper 11-12 fleet sails out of Marina at Keppel Bay

02/04/2012 | 12:06am US/Eastern

After a week-long stopover in spectacular Singapore, the ten yachts taking part in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race set sail this morning from the exclusive Marina at Keppel Bay, where they have been based since last Saturday.

The send-off was no less spectacular than the welcome festivities, with drummers upping the tempo as the teams manned their boats in preparation for race start, as well as the traditional tossing of the Yusheng, or raw fish salad, by skippers and VIP guests, to herald abundance and good fortune during the Chinese Spring Festival.

Speaking at the departure ceremony, Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of Keppel Corporation said, "As we celebrated friendship and goodwill over the past week, we are also happy that through hosting this stopover of the Clipper Race fleet at our Marina, we have played our part to promote Singapore as the sailing and waterfront lifestyle destination in this part of the world."

Marina at Keppel Bay, home to Keppel Bay Sailing Academy, Singapore's only Royal Yachting Association (RYA)-recognised sail training centre, is part of the world-class Keppel Bay waterfront precinct. Presenting the best in waterfront and urban lifestyles, Keppel Bay is set to put Singapore on the world's prime real estate map with its iconic residential developments, Reflections at Keppel Bay and Caribbean at Keppel Bay.

Skipper of the Singapore yacht, Ben Bowley, said "It has been a fantastic stopover. It's been very busy but it's been a great opportunity to give something back to our sponsors. It's been brilliant to come and see Marina at Keppel Bay and the new Reflections at Keppel Bay development which is looking fantastic, and wonderful to experience Singapore's delights. We've had some great meals and good times.

"I think one of the real things about having a Singapore boat as part of the Clipper Race is it provides fantastic exposure; everywhere we've been there has been a load of support. We have fantastic support throughout the world for our multinational crew and that is really helping to bind people together."

"This is my first time in Singapore and to come and see what it's all about, to meet the people and to see their attitude, which is generally incredibly determined and very hardworking, has helped to galvanise what is already a very strong team spirit," he added.

During their stay the international crews have explored the island state, including a tour organised by Singapore Tourism Board, which began with a tai chi session (an ancient Chinese form of martial arts) and a traditional roti prata (Indian pancakes) breakfast, before shopping in Little India, lunch in Chinatown and the infamous 'Singapore Sling' at Raffles Hotel.

Clipper Race founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said, "I know very well that the crew have greatly enjoyed their time in Singapore where they have participated in fantastic tourism experiences, exploring Singapore by day and night. Over the last week, they have gained a real sense of what this unique island has to offer.

"Our international yacht partners have also maximised every minute of our stopover here and there has been encouraging evidence of new contacts made and successful business completed over our stay - something which is at the heart of the Clipper Race ethos."

Clipper 11-12 is 'raced by people like you'; crew members come from all walks of life and between them represent more than 40 nationalities. The youngest is 18 years old and there is no upper age limit.

Singaporean, Celina Chan, is one of three Keppel Ambassadors taking part in the race and will bring the skills she learns on board back to her company. In everyday life she is an engineer but is now embarking on the second of the two races in which she will take part.

The 27-year-old said, "I felt like a superstar as we sailed into Marina at Keppel Bay. It was an emotional moment and I had tears of joy and excitement whilst standing on the spreader as we sailed in! I saw my bosses and colleagues, which really touched me as I knew that they had a major operation in the shipyard, but yet rushed over to the marina just welcome me before hurrying back to the office!

"The Singapore team bonds very well," she added. "The adventures and hardships have fostered strong friendships and the whole team just gels together. Being onboard reminds me a lot of my workplace at Keppel FELS where everybody will lend each other a helping hand no matter how busy they are. This is the Keppel Can-Do! spirit, and something I am truly glad to find onboard Singapore as well."

The stopover has also seen hundreds of local residents visit the yachts and prospective crew for Clipper 13-14 have attended sessions to find out more about getting on board for the next edition of the race. Keppel Bay Sailing Academy is also the only accredited Clipper Training centre outside the UK where crew from Singapore and the wider Asia-Pacific region can undertake the first part of their pre-race training.

In addition many of the sponsors of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race have travelled to Singapore to leverage their partnership with the event to establish and build on trade, business, tourism, education and cultural relationships, attracting delegates from across Singapore and South East Asia.

For more information please contact:

For Keppel Corporation
Grace Chia
Senior Manager
Group Corporate Communications
Mobile: +65 9694 1328
Office: +65 64136 434
E-mail: grace.chia@kepcorp.com
For Clipper 11-12 Race
Heather Ewing
Communications Manager
Singapore Mobile: +65 8105 6210
Roaming Mobile: +44 (0) 7792 408 695
Email: hewing@clipper-ventures.com
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