The craziness started!
Two years ago this morning I headed down to Gosport to Clipper HQ for my interview to take part in the Clipper Race. I’d applied on a whim and I had no idea which way the interview would go.
Apart from the 14 hour day, the long drive to Gosport, the interview itself and the tour of a Clipper 70 racing yacht, it was pretty much an ordinary day really. The effects of which weren’t really noticed until much later on. They told me that Clipper changes lives and I don’t think I appreciated quite how much at the time.
I’ve met so many wonderful people since then, who for their own reasons also decided to start on this journey. We’ve questioned our sanity, laughed and cried, wondered at times if we really can do this and found the incredible strength of the Clipper family bond gets us through every time. It’s been two years of rope burns and bruises, two years of adventure and discovery, learning about sailing oceans and about ourselves. There’s that glint in the eye of those of us with this common bond. We just “get it” and we don’t have to explain why.
In those two years, I’ve done three levels of training, found out who my skipper and team mates are, been on a team building weekend and many, many crew meets. I’ve made so many new friends, lifelong friends that share a special bond. It’s a bond that extends outside of ocean racing and sailing. These are the people you come to rely on because you know you can trust them with your life and you with theirs. It’s a family that dreams big and encourages you to push further than you ever thought possible.
Two years ago it seemed a long journey ahead to our race. Now we are just 41 days away from race start in Liverpool. It’s with a little apprehension that I look forward to waving my team and my friends off at the start of their epic adventure. Some I won’t see again until mid-June next year when I join them in New York, others will come and go as they complete their legs. One thing is for sure, there will be plenty of tears and cheers on the dock in Liverpool on 20th August.
I’m very proud to be a member of the Clipper family and to count some of these people as my closest friends. So to you my Clipper Crazies, the Clipperati, my ocean racing family – we rock. Never forget it.
And to our friends and family who just watch us from the sidelines in disbelief – we may be nuts but we do appreciate your support.