All hands on deck for Oban Clipper event

Preparations are well underway, as Oban gets ready to host the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race when it sails into town this summer – the first time the event has come to Scotland!

Argyll and Bute Council is a Host Port Partner alongside BID4Oban and the Scottish Towns Partnership, who have part-funded the Host Port costs. Several local and national partners have also signed up to help deliver the event.

The Clipper Race is a prestigious global sporting event and is renowned as one of the toughest endurance challenges in the world. It welcomes adventurers from all lifestyles to take on the task of racing across the globe on board a 70ft yacht.

At the council’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting today (Thursday), councillors received an update on plans for the Oban stopover, including details about how the event will form part of a wider ‘Festival of the Sea’ from 12 -21 July. Councillors also approved up to £50k of funding to deal with additional costs linked to the event from its priority fund.

To coincide with the Clipper Race, the Festival of the Sea will celebrate Oban’s outstanding maritime history, Gaelic tradition, music, songs and literature. Ocean health workshops will deliver a series of activities to highlight Oban’s natural environment, whilst a food and drinks festival will demonstrate the high-quality local food and drink available. There will also be additional yacht races and fun events across the town, including a Skerryvore concert in the Corran Halls organised by LiveArgyll. You can view the full programme here: Clipper Events Programme | north-pier-pontoons (northpierpontoons.com)

Throughout their time in Oban, the Clipper Race crew will also participate in wider tourism opportunities, and environmental works, as well as a Clipper Connect Business Series event at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).

The event organisers have secured all the venues, including the North Pier and North Pier Pontoons where the boats will dock. Road restrictions will be in force in these areas throughout the event and further information will follow regarding these. Overflow car parks will also be available at Oban High School and Mossfield Stadium, and HIE has kindly offered its car park at SAMs. The council is currently confirming arrangements regarding transport links for people parking at these locations. HITrans will also supply hire bikes ahead of the stopover, the West Highland Yacht Race and potentially until the National Royal Oban MOD in October.

To help visitors orientate Oban venue maps will be available along with free Wi-Fi.

Argyll and Bute Council Leader, Councillor Jim Lynch, said: “It is a great honour for Oban to host the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Tourism is a key industry for Argyll and Bute and this event will not only provide a welcome boost to the local economy, it will enable us to highlight excellent produce from the region and establish new business relationships.

“The Clipper Race will help to stimulate investment across key sectors of food and drink, events and festivals, hospitality, and retail, and will promote Argyll and Bute area as a leading adventure sports destination in Scotland.

“This event is an outstanding example of partnership working for the benefit of the area and I would like to thank everyone working hard behind the scenes to make this event a success.”

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