In April 2016, for 3 months, I’ll be competing in “one of the planet’s toughest endurance challenges”: the 15/16 Clipper Round The World Yacht Race. As part of a crew, I’ll be racing 11 other yachts, sailing 9,000 miles on the penultimate and final legs of the race (Legs 7 & 8) from the West Coast of America to the UK, taking in the Panama canal, East Coast USA, the north Atlantic and Europe along the way.
I’ve always had a slightly masochistic side to me that likes to challenge myself. I’m not talking anything ridiculous – up until now, it’s been all about rowing and hiking up mountains – but then I started passing the Clipper Yacht Race Posters on the tube.
I’ve been walking past these posters for a couple of years now, and every time I saw one, I always thought “I’d love to do that”. For some reason though, I never believed it was something I could do. Then, last November, I walked past another poster and realised the only thing stopping me from applying for this experience was me. What did I have to lose? A month later and I bit the bullet – I applied for an information pack, attended an interview and was accepted onto the race. I’m now at the beginning of a very exciting and very long journey preparing myself for 3 months at sea in 2016. So far, I’ve been on one of the boats, attended the January Crew Briefing and have an amazing “Race Crew” Henri Lloyd jacket (STASH!) which makes thing slightly more real. I’ve now got 4 weeks of training ahead of me in 2015, teaching me how to sail from scratch (I only do boats with oars at the moment) and preparing me for what is probably going to be the most challenging/terrifying experience of my life.