JIS News

‘Jamaica Lightning Bolt’ set off on a 10-month long race around the world last Sunday (Sept. 13) with the success of the fastest man in the world, for which the vessel is named, propelling its sails.
The yacht, which is representing Jamaica in the Clipper Round the World Race 2009-10, was officially named in honour of 100 and 200 metres world record holder, Usain Bolt, at a special ceremony held last week in Hull, Yorkshire, England.
Mrs. Joline Whiteman, wife of Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Burchell Whiteman, sprayed the vessel with the traditional bottle of champagne.
Mr. Whiteman, in his address, said that as a nation of great sporting excellence, Jamaica is proud to once again participate in the prestigious event, having sponsored an entry in 2007-08.
He stated that the Clipper Round the World Race demanded teamwork, dedication and tenacity, all traits that described Jamaica and Jamaicans.
He wished the crew every success. “Usain Bolt amazed the world in Beijing and Berlin, with performances previously thought to be impossible. His achievements are in the tradition of the icon of the Clipper Round the World event, Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, who first sailed single-handedly around the world. While Bolt took just 9.58 seconds to create history in Berlin, the crew however will need to stay competitive for quite a bit longer,” Mr. Whiteman said.
The High Commissioner also brought the crew good wishes from Usain Bolt. “Usain Bolt has wished the crew all the speed in the world. I would also like to wish them good weather and a fair wind. For those that have taken part in the race before they will be able to comfort new participants with Jamaica’s tourism motto, ‘Once You Go, You Know,” he said.
More than 100,000 people watched the start of the race on Sunday from the Humber on the east coast of England.
Jamaica Lightning Bolt is competing against nine identical stripped down 68-foot yachts, which will race a 35,000-mile course incorporating France, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, China, California, Panama, New York, Cape Breton Island, Cork and the Netherlands.
Port Antonio will be the ninth stage of the race, which ends on July 17, 2010.

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