The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has been postponed with immediate effect ©Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has been postponed with immediate effect due to the ongoing global outbreak of coronavirus.

Organisers say the decision has not been taken lightly, but was done so because of the enormous impact COVID-19 has created on world travel.

Their crew is currently under quarantine in Subic Bay in the Philippines, where the Clipper Race fleet has been berthed since Sunday (March 15).

The island of Luzon, where Subic Bay is located, is currently under "enhanced community quarantine".

In addition, the fleet was due to race across the North Pacific Ocean from Saturday (March 21) towards Seattle.

But with the American city currently in a state of emergency and travel and medical insurance restrictions in the United States, teams could not be allowed to depart without a viable destination.

"This, along with the growing global uncertainty on how the situation could develop in the coming months, meant postponing the race was the safest option for all involved," a statement from organisers reads.

"Our first priority, as soon as the local quarantine has been lifted, will be to assist our crew in Subic Bay in travelling home from the Philippines as swiftly as possible."

The Clipper Race has three legs remaining.

These race stages will now be postponed for approximately 10 months, when the remaining circumnavigation will be completed.

"This length of postponement allows for us to avoid adverse weather patterns on the remainder of our global route," the statement reads.

"All leg six, seven and eight crew, along with our circumnavigators, will be able to rejoin the race when it resumes next year."

This postponement will have an impact on the timing of future races.

The next full edition of the Clipper Race is scheduled to start in the summer of 2022.

"We are extremely disappointed to postpone the remainder of the Clipper 2019-20 Race," the statement adds.

"We are proud of all of our intrepid crew for having competed in this race edition since it departed London and look forward to welcoming all of our upcoming crew next year when the race continues.

"We are also grateful to all of our crew, supporters and race partners for their continued support."

Around the world, approximately 180,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported and more than 7,000 people have died.