Riding Rugged On The High Seas: A 40,000 Nautical Mile Test

a ship in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Race: Background

In 1969, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was the first person to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly. He was also the second winner of the Jules Verne Trophy, awarded for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht.
In 1995, Sir Knox-Johnston conceived of the Clipper Race – a record breaking 40,000 nautical mile race around the world on ocean racing yachts, now on their third iteration and are 70 feet long. Divided into eight legs and 13 individual races, 712 crew participate full circumnavigation or one or more individual legs. The race starts on August 20th, 2017 in Liverpool, UK. Forty-thousand nautical miles and almost 12 months later, sailors will have visited ports in Uruguay, South Africa, Australia, China, United States of America, Panama, and Northern Ireland.

A Diverse Crew With One Goal: Win

Each of the 12 racing yachts are identical, and a fully qualified skipper is onboard to guide the crew. Oh, did I mention that around 40 percent the crew are novices who have never sailed before? That’s part of what makes The Clipper Race such a unique and amazing experience; people from around the world come together to train, compete, and win. They come from all walks of life; CEO’s, vicars, housewives, students, and even taxi drivers are given no quarter by the sea. The key to success is working together and focusing on winning. It is a visceral expression of our mantra to “Go Big, Win Big.”

Dell Latitude Rugged Enters The Race

When Clipper Ventures came to us with a need for hardened computing products to help keep their captains and crews on the right path and stay connected to the world, we knew we had the right fit: Dell Latitude Rugged. Each of the boats are outfitted with a Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme – an incredibly durable and reliable 14-inch laptop that is up to the most extreme conditions that each boat will encounter during the race. From cold temperatures to oppressive heat, corrosive salt water and brutal beatings by waves, The Clipper Race is as much of a test for Dell Latitude Rugged as it is for the intrepid sailors on the boats.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Founder the Clipper Race with a Dell Latitude Rugged laptop
“The race and its crew will traverse some of the most inhospitable corners of the globe, and having the very best rugged performance technology on board each yacht will support the teams’ efforts to perform at their very best, whilst showcasing the Rugged capabilities in such extreme environments.” – Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Founder

For nearly a year, these laptops will be an integral part of the technology ecosystem on these yachts, and we’ll be cheering them on, with regular updates, blog posts, pictures, and videos from the crews onboard. Stay tuned, because it’s going to be a wild ride! In the meantime, want to see what makes Dell Latitude Rugged tougher? Check out this tour of the Rugged Labs based in Round Rock, Texas.


Personally, I’m very excited about this. I used to race catamarans in my teenage years, and was sailing solo at age 9. I have a great fondness for the sea and for sailing; it’s amazing to get to be involved with such a unique event, even if I’m just observing from the sidelines.

young boy sailing on a catamaran
Yours truly on a Super Sunfish, circa 1990.

About the Author: Chris Morley

Chris has spent his entire 18 year career in the PC business, with roles in product development, product management, product marketing, and PR, as well as executive roles in various system builders around the US, winning dozens of Editor’s Choice Awards in the process. He’s worked for start-ups, established small businesses, and is enjoying his first stint at what he considers to be the best Tier 1 technology solutions company in the business, insisting that he’s not biased in believing so. He currently is the PR lead for Dell Latitude Rugged mobility devices, and is a part of one of the best PR teams in the business; again, his unbiased personal opinion. Chris has a bachelor's in Marketing Management and is finishing his MBA at Western Governors University. He enjoys flying drones, kayaking on the San Marcos river, and underwater cinematography, as well as spending time with his wife and three daughters.