YORKSHIRE is taking on the world as the region’s yacht competes in a round the world race.
The 68ft vessel named Welcome to Yorkshire is likely to be England’s only entrant in the Clipper 2011-12 Race.
During the eight-leg, 40,000 mile world tour, the bright pink yacht will be raising the profile of God’s Own County across the globe, following in the wake of its predecessor Hull and Humber which took part in the last two Clipper Races.
A third of the crew are from Yorkshire, including Leeds solicitor Guy Jackson.
The 54-year-old will participate in three legs of the race, which starts from Southampton on July 31 for the first leg to Rio de Janeiro via Madeira.
Joining him on the first two legs will be 51-year-old PA Lynette Greaves, also from Leeds, who started sailing seven years ago.
A third Loiner, Richard Hilson, will complete the fifth leg. The 36-year-old, who works as a head of user experience, has run a marathon previously but had no sailing experience before beginning training for the Clipper Race.
Yorkshire’s involvement in the event was revealed in Whitby where crew members joined Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity on board a replica of Captain James Cook’s boat the Bark Endeavour.
Mr Verity said: “Yorkshire is a world class destination and deserves to be seen on a global stage. The Clipper Race is the perfect event to showcase Yorkshire in key global markets, this is the third edition running that Yorkshire has competed in the Clipper Race, we are building on the success of those endeavours and hope to make this race our most successful to date.”
Analysis by development agency Yorkshire Forward showed Hull and Humber’s involvement helped raise the profile of the region and boost investment, with £5m of trade deals during the 2009-10 race alone.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, yachtsman and founder of Clipper Ventures, said: “This is the third race in which the county has been represented. Welcome to Yorkshire has already shown itself to be an organisation that comes up with inspiring and effective ways to promote tourism and giving a warm Yorkshire welcome around the world.”
Welcome to Yorkshire is so far the only English entry.