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Clipper Race to reach thrilling sprint finish on River Mersey

The Round the World Clipper Yacht Race returns to the Mersey this weekend – almost 12 months after it set off from the Royal Albert Dock.

The ocean-going yachts will take part in a sprint finish in the river on Saturday morning to decide the podium places at the end of a gruelling circumnavigation of the globe.

And once all the competitors have crossed the finish line they will marshal themselves in to a parade of sail ahead of berthing at the dock once more.

The sprint finish is expected to take place at 10am on Saturday, with the parade of sail from 11.15-11.45am.

There will be a crew parade at 1.55pm and prize giving at 2.15pm.

And on Sunday, between 11am and 4pm, Clippers will be open to the public.

Clipper Race founder and chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said: “Since setting off from Liverpool nearly 11 months ago, the 2017-18 edition has been one of the most thrilling, closely matched ocean racing spectacles in the Clipper Race’s history.

“After experiencing some of the most inhospitable conditions on the planet, the non-professional Clipper Race crew members will have raced over 40,000 nautical miles across six different oceans and will have visited six different continents by the time they return to Liverpool on July 28.

“They’ve seen nature in the raw, conditions that would terrify most sailors, but they have come through it and given themselves an experience that most people on this planet can only ever visualise.

“I’m extremely fond of Liverpool and the send-off from the city last August was remarkable. I;m very much looking forward to returning to Liverpool for even bigger celebrations when the fleet races up the River Mersey.”

A programme of performances and activities will take place at the Royal Albert Dock from noon to 6pm on Saturday and noon to 5pm on Sunday.

It will feature local arts organisations which represent Liverpool and the other port cities and countries visited by the yachts since they set sail on August 20 last year, with performances from Katumba South American drum ensemble, One Latin Culture musicians and Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra and dancers.

There will also be street theatre, arts and crafts making activities of national flags of the port countries visited and face painting.

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