Published: Monday, 14 July 2014

Winning boat Henri Lloyd and the Clipper Race fleet has returned to a heroes welcome in London 11 months after setting off.

The team was victorious in the overall Clipper 2013-2014 Race, claiming a total of eleven podium places and five overall wins to beat second place GREAT Britain.

Henri Lloyd Team Crowned Clipper Race Champions 1

A total of 670 crewmembers from 42 different countries have battled hurricanes, survived a tornado, dealt with medical evacuations and witnessed the miraculous rescue of a man who went overboard in the Pacific Ocean for 90 minutes.

Henry Lloyd received the Clipper Race trophy at a prize giving ceremony at St. Katherine docks having been victorious in the world’s longest ocean race.

“It has been a life-changing adventure for the crew and I," says Canadian skipper Eric Holden. "The team’s drive, determination and strength has led us to exhaustion at times. Whenever I thought the team couldn’t be pushed any harder, they dug deeper through some of the worst sailing conditions I have ever seen on the planet. This is a very special moment for the team and I to be crowned champions.”

 Henri Lloyd Team Crowned Clipper Race Champions 2

“What a fantastic effort by Eric and the team on board Henri Lloyd. The race has been a real marathon around the world over the past 11 months,” says Sir Ben Ainslie CBE, BAR Team Principle and Henri Lloyd ambassador. “To take part is an incredible achievement and congratulations to all those who helped the team claim the win overall.”

Crew members range from doctors to lawyers, farmers, housewives, sports stars and students and are aged between 18 and 74. 40 per cent had never sailed before they participated.

“The crews have crossed all the world’s oceans suffered the frustrations of the calms, the apprehensions of the largest waves to be seen anywhere on the planet, experienced the vagaries of the weather systems, seen ports and scenery that they never expected, met people from very different cultures, and, perhaps most of all, shared all these adventurers with a group of people who were strangers just over a year ago but who will now remain friends for life,” says Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, the first man to sail solo nonstop around the world in 1968-69. “They have widened their horizons and have memories to cherish that can only be won through real hands-on participation.”

The Clipper Race was created in 1996 by Knox-Johnston to give people of all ages, from all walks of life the opportunity to experience ocean racing including the option to complete a full circumnavigation.