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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 1 May 2006

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THE 10 strong international fleet, which suffered a month's delay for repairs in the Philippines, are to complete the world's longest yachting race on the River Mersey at around 12 noon on Saturday, July 29.

The Liverpool Culture Company is preparing to roll out the red carpet for what will be an emotional finale to the most dramatic race in clipper's history, which began in Liverpool last September.

Liverpool's Lord Mayor will lead a civic welcome with aerobatic displays and street entertainment planned before the final prize-giving in Salthouse Dock at 4pm.

Thousands of people are expected to throng the Mersey and they can expect a tense climax as the leading three yachts in the overall standings -, Liverpool 08 and Durban - all have a chance of winning the coveted Clipper Cup.

Currently competing Leg 5 in the northern Pacific with 2,000 miles to Vancouver, Durban is second, Liverpool 08 third and trailing in fifth. Leg 6 to Jamaica is to begin on May on May 14 and Leg 7 to Liverpool is to begin on June 20 via New York and Jersey.

Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of Liverpool Culture Company, said:- "It's great news to finally have a homecoming date for the race. We can now prepare to give the fleet the welcome they deserve. I'm sure the Liverpool public will be out in force to support them after what has been a real roller coaster experience for the crews."

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo, non-stop around the world is founder and Chairman of Clipper Ventures PLC.

He said:- "The return of the Clipper Fleet to Liverpool on July 29 signifies the culmination of months of adventure, challenges and experience as the 10-strong fleet have raced 35,000 miles around the world to complete the full circle. Liverpool gave the race a spectacular send-off back in September and the excitement is already building as this great maritime city gears up for the grand finale."

Letters to editor:- "Vandalism in Victoria Park"

"These are a few pictures of the results of vandalism in Victoria Park over the last week. I can not see what drives these mindless yobs in Southport. How can we make the town presentable again?"

Regards Eric Evison (Southport Radio Car Club).
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