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Napier student to sail in round-the-world race
At over 6000 miles, student faces longest and most difficult leg of Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
Wednesday, 17 February, 2010 | 09:00
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Christopher Robson

A student from Edinburgh Napier University will become one of the youngest ever participants in the Clipper World Yacht Race next month.

Christopher Robson, 20, will join the 68-foot racing yacht Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, along with 15 crew members led by skipper Matt Pike.

Mr Robson, a third-year BSc in Property Development and Valuation student, said: "I have been sailing or around the sea for most of my life, i think the first time i was put on a boat was when I was around three months old."

Robson has taken on the role of watch leader, effectively second in charge of the boat, for the fifth leg of the race.

This will see the yacht racing between the cities of Qingdao, China, and San Francisco, California, a journey of about five weeks. At over 6000 miles, this is the longest leg of the race and is notoriously difficult due to the possibility of snow and ice.

He is due to set sail from China on 2 March, arriving in California at the beginning of April. His route will take him past South Korea and Japan, before sailing out into the open waters of the North Pacific.

The average age of the crew members is 38, but Robson will be joining fellow student 18 year-old Freddie O’Hare on board the vessel.

This is the first time that Scotland has been represented since the race was launched in 1996. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital is one of nine yachts sailing in this year’s race, with Australia’s team currently in the lead.

Robson, whose father was a lifeboat coxswain, won both the Forth and Kip Regattas last year as part of Edinburgh-based racing team Nijinsky.

"My passion for sailing comes heavily from my dad's side of the family, who had a long heritage in working in Newcastle docks," said Mr Robson.

The full race will see the yachts travelling through six continents, taking almost a year to complete. They are expected back at the starting point on the Humber, on England's north east coast, in July 2010.

BBC1 will air a documentary following the teams’ journeys at the end of the year.

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