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​Meet the 2023-24 Clipper Racing Team: Alessandro Lombardo

Name: Alexander Lombardo
Age: 58
Occupation: Expert in international humanitarian aid
Team: UNICEF
Legs: 7
Lives: Panama
Nationality: Italian

While the Clipper 2023-24 Race has been taking place since last July, for the Race Crew who are competing in the penultimate stage of the world circuit, they are just embarking on the race of their lives.

Image: Alessandro left Seattle with his UNICEF teammates on Friday, May 3.

Leg 7 crew member Alessandro Lombardo, international humanitarian aid expert, is one of the crew members waiting patiently to join his UNICEF teammates for the coast-to-coast leg of the United States.

Speaking before heading to Seattle, Alessandro said: “I feel excited to be here and sometimes a little nervous. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and it’s finally here.

For Alessandro, who is Italian and lives in Panama, Stage 7 was a big draw for several reasons. He explains: “I chose to participate in stage 7 because it is very tactical, especially the first race. Then the Panama Canal called: I was curious to cross it. Then the second race of the stage in the Caribbean Sea with strong wind then towards Washington, I’m curious to see everything.

Image: Alessandro speaking in Seattle before starting stage 7

Before signing up for the Clipper Race, Alessandro’s on-water experience spanned a week-long sailing course in Sardinia and a handful of kitesurfing lessons. From experience, he reflects: “This kind of navigation is different! So it doesn’t matter how long I’ve been sailing before. We are all prepared with the training.

Alessandro’s goals for his race are to explore the American continent from the sea, meet interesting people and share a unique racing experience. Reflecting on the realities of living aboard a stripped-down Clipper 70 racing yacht, he added: “Ask me again at the end of the leg but I think it will be good to live aboard the yacht! We’ve all had four weeks of training so it should be good.

While Alessandro settles on board with his UNICEF teammates, he brings a strong set of transferable skills to the group. He explains: “As part of my job, I deal with emergency response and preparedness; I like to multitask and be restorative.

Image: Photo of Alessandro’s crew, taken during Clipper Race training

While the UNICEF With the team still having over 3,000 nautical miles to go, they used their first race tactic of sticking to the rhumb line coastal route rather than heading towards the Scoring Gate. They forgo any race point bonuses that Scoring Gate might offer in an effort to make up leaderboard positions with a shorter race course.

Keep up to date with Alessandro’s progress and his UNICEF teammates via the Race Viewer. Inspired by Alessandro? Want to line up on the starting line of stage 7 during the next edition? You can learn more and apply to become a member of the 2025-26 Clipper Race crew via the application page.

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