The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race was conceived in 1995 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and together with William Ward, founded Clipper Ventures, a company that would run the race. The first race set off a year later on 16 October 1996. The event gives paying amateur crew members the chance to sail around the world. The organizers own a fleet of identical yachts, and provide qualified skippers to lead each team. Crew can either sign up for the whole race, or one or more legs.