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PERLA SINGS AGAIN (article first published : 2005-11-4)

The city of Durban takes to the water for the 2005 Summer Season with one of the main events over the summer holidays being the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race which stops off in Durban.

The much-anticipated Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will dock in Durban between November 17 and 27. This fabulous spectacle boasts 170 international crew-members from various countries on board 10 yachts - each yacht representing a city. Included in the fleet is the brightly coloured Durban yacht skippered by Durbanite Craig Millar who will be doing the city proud as he enters the harbour.

The race stops in 12 countries on its circumnavigation and Durban will be the finish of the third leg of the event. The Durban Yacht mole on Victoria Embankment is being transformed into ďthe Clipper VillageĒ for the ten-day stop-over. This stretches from the BAT Centre to Wilsonís Wharf. There will be a regular free shuttle bus operating from either side of the mole to allow for easy access of the Clipper Village. Wooden benches with Caribbean-style umbrellas will be along the boardwalk for people to enjoy the spectacle and activities at the Yacht Mole.

The departure on November 27 will be wonderful to watch with the Durban Clipper being the last to leave. Part of the nautical tradition in sending off the yachts is a parade that will include the Navy, Port authorities, Police, NSRI and a whole flotilla of private boats that will follow the Clipper yachts to the starting line. Activities will be taking place around the entrance to the harbour mouth and also beach festivities off North Beach.

A familiar figure of wartime days will be standing at the Point to sing the Clippers out. Durbanís legendary Lady in White, Perla Siedle Gibson, will be re-enacted by actress Caroline Smart (artSMartís editor!). She will sing songs associated with The Lady in White such as Wish Me Luck as You Wave Me Goodbye and Itís a Long Way to Tipperary.




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