On the 1st of June 2014 I will be taking part in the last of 8 legs in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, a year long 40,000 mile yacht race between 12 identically built 70 foot racing yachts.
Clipper founded by Sir Robin Knox Johnston, the 1st man to circumnavigate the globe single handed in 68/69 is the only Round the World Yacht Race raced by amateurs, 40% of whom are novice sailors who have never set foot on a boat (like me) the remaining 60% have varying degrees of sailing experience but all are race trained by Clipper
I am very lucky to have been selected for the Great Britain Team and my leg will take me from New York, 2850 miles to Derry – Londonderry – Doire across the North Atlantic (Race14 a voyage of approx 16 days) then after a stopover for damage repairs and maintenance, we will depart from Derry, 770 miles around the top of Scotland to Den Helder in the Netherlands (Race15 approx 5 days), then once again after a stopover we will resume racing in the final race “The Homecoming” (Race16 approx 2 days) from Den Helder, 250 miles across the North Sea to the race finish London
The Race Village
Our arrival at the race finish will be on the 12th of July in St Katherine’s Dock, Tower Bridge which will be preceded by a parade of sail watched by thousands of people the full length of the Thames through Tower Bridge twice before mooring in the Race Village (St Katherine’s) for a weekend of festivities and presentations to begin.
I have trained over the last two years for this adventure and through my race training with Clipper and external RYA training I have, from a complete novice, worked my way up through the RYA qualifications to Yacht Master, the theory exam for which I have just successfully completed and the final practical examination will be complete before I leave for New York.
I have already logged some 2000 miles over 40 days at sea, 26 of them including nights during 24/7 race training, operating 4&6 hour watch systems, some as watch leader, the other 26 days outside Clipper race training have been as Skipper, as well as attending 14 days of shore based theory courses
So sports fans the million dollar question is why would I want to live for weeks on end racing 24/7 on a climbing frame at 45 degrees battling North Atlantic Ocean storm force winds, in a confined space with 20 personalities fighting sleep deprivation as well as physical and mental fatigue. We will be permanently wet, sleeping in a stripped out racing hull with bunks bolted to the sides, one very very basic pump loo, wet wipes instead of a shower, trying to feed our bodies the 5000 calories a day you burn from dried food. All of which can sporadically and without warning be punctuated by moments of sheer terror on one side and a pure adrenaline on the other
The answer – its an Adventure, as our team slogan reads “Adventure is GREAT Britain” or in laymans terms a mid life crisis
The Race Of Your Life
I’m 45, 46 when I go and surrounded by friends doing marathons, triathlons, cycle rides throughout Europe and China, climbing mountains and jumping out of planes, you name it I’ve a friend that’s done it, so it’s the challenge. “The Race Of Your Life” the advert said; “20 years from now it’s not what you have done that you will regret but what you didn’t do” Sir Robin said, ” more people have conquered the summit of Everest than have circumnavigated the globe” he added. Ok, ok I’m sold.
So what is my motivation? I’ve always wanted to sail and I daydream of rewarding my years of hard work with a boat in the med, however this is Padders World and as my wife and anyone close to me will tell you I’m an all or nothing kind of guy and when I put my mind to something I’m the most driven, focussed man you will ever meet and rather than a few dingy sailing lessons at Rutland Water I’m ocean racing in one of the harshest environments on earth completing one of the biggest challenges I have ever set myself
Whilst racing I will be posting daily blogs which if you have enough interest PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS and my Personal Diaries will be emailed to you daily whilst racing as I post them from the boat as well as links to Team GB Skipper’s Blog, Team GB Crew Diaries, Clipper You Tube Channel, and all sorts of race information including Overall Race Standings, Clipper News, and a very addictive Race Viewer which is updated by the hour with our race positions (iPads and iPhones need to download a free app; Yellow Brick Race Tracker). Alternatively join my Facebook or Twitter for updates
There will also in time be a TV documentary about the race once it has been completed for those get hooked by my blogs and race information, who knows you may even sign up for 15/16
How you can help
Finally, soberly, whilst completing this challenge I hope to raise £1 for every mile I race for a charity that is very close to my heart, Macmillan is a cancer charity and I’m sure everybody reading this will know a family member or friend that have been touched by cancer
My Story is that Mum and my Cousin have both fought Breast Cancer and won but unfortunately I also lost an aunt, an uncle and a cousin after long battles with the disease but most poignantly, to me at least I lost my Dad some years ago to cancer at only 55 years of age, way way too young, but although medical science was not quite there with a cure for him, that day will come. Until then, the work the Macmillan nurses do and did for my Dad making his final weeks and months comfortable at home, and able to depart this world with some dignity, is invaluable to thousands of families like mine and is a debt I have wanted to repay for many years. To that end, despite my attempts at humour above this is best reason to complete this challenge
If you would like to Donate by sponsoring my endeavors please CLICK THIS LINK which will take you to my Just Giving page
Thank you to…
Hannah Cabanna, my wife for allowing me the time away from my family to take part in this race, as well as the 6 weeks racing I have been away probably 8 further weeks for training and courses over the last 2 years which is a lot of time away from home and to be honest although I think I’m boss of my house, if I didn’t have her support and blessing I would not be going. Thank you Baby xxx
All costs to take part in the Race have been generously donated by Exten a Swiss plastic supplier to my Print Company despite there being a Switzerland Team in the race, so I am doubley appreciative of there support.
A further mention also needs to go to TJS who design and build websites for my companies, they have spent some considerable time building this site without charge, thank you guys its very much appreciated.