The world’s longest ocean race, uniquely for amateur sailors – the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is now 70% full for the 2015-16 edition, following a surge of crew sign-ups.
Clipper Round The World Yacht Race
The 40,000 mile, eleven month long event, known as one of the planets toughest endurance challenges will be the bi-annual events 10th Anniversary series and the second circumnavigation for the Clipper 70 fleet.
Over 400 crew are now signed up from 28 nationalities, including the UK, Australia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Germany, Finland, Sweden and more. The race will also welcome its first ever crew members from South Korea, Colombia, Latvia and Bulgaria.
The Clipper Race is the only event of its kind which allows non-sailors the chance to complete an ocean circumnavigation. A vast and varied number of crew occupations already include; Police Officers, Pilots, Teachers, Students, Nurses-Medical Professionals, Psychologists, Entrepreneurs, Firefighters, Pilots, Farmers, Engineers, a Travel Agent, a Soldier, a Pathologist, a Landscape Gardner, a Hotelier and a Cirque du Soleil Automation Manager, among many others.
With Level one and two training already well in process, the adventure is fast becoming a reality for the future crew.
Elaine Hargreaves, 42, an Engagement Manager for Microsoft from St Albans, Hertfordshire starts her Level one training this weekend. She has signed up to be a 15-16 round the world crew member and explained the reason behind her decision. 'It was a combination of factors - the death of my stepdad last August prompted me to think in a different way about what I wanted to do next in my life. I really want to live for the moment.
'In the past I have climbed mountains, raised money for charity or taken on challenges that lasted weeks or months and wanted to do something different - I searched on the internet and up came the Clipper Race. I must admit that I hadn't previously heard of it and started to read about it.'
Asked what she is most looking forward to, Elaine said: 'I'd like to meet Mother Nature face to face and then be able to tell the tales of the difficult times and the most fun times too. I think the race experience begins the moment you decide to sign up and are accepted.'
Aaron Lomas, 39, an IT Manager from London, is signed up for Legs five, six, seven and eight. He will be undergoing Level two training in October and explained: 'I’m pretty active, have sport hobbies and have done a decent amount of travelling. So while I’m working in London I need to have regular breaks and travel experiences in order to keep me sane.
'What I am looking forward to on the race is the satisfaction of becoming a competent sailor - I hadn’t sailed before my Clipper Race training started. Also finding out more about what sort of person I am when times are tough, the anticipation before race starts, the exhilaration of racing a yacht at speed, creating memories that will always stay with you and forging bonds with people with whom you’ve gone through a lot together.
One crew member who knows exactly what the challenge will be like is Sascha Bonus, 45, an Office Manager from Vancouver, Canada. Sascha completed Legs one, two, three, four, five, seven and eight on Old Pulteney in the 2013-14 race and is now signing up to do Legs one, two, three, four, five and eight for 15-16.
She explained: 'In the Clipper Race questionnaire it asks what do you think the hardest part of the race will be. I said, the end. Having to get off the boat. This has definitely proven to be true for me. Working and living together as a team was such a great experience. When I got home I knew right away that my Clipper Race experience wasn't over. I wanted to do it again! Hands down this has been the best experience of my life.'
If you are still considering joining the Clipper 2015-16 Race next summer, places are still available but are filling up fast. Click here for more information and to book an interview to start the journey for the Race of Your Life. You can also speak to the Crew Team directly on 02392 526 000.
Crew members must be 18 or over – there is no upper age limit. You can sign up for individual legs or the whole, eleven month circumnavigation. No previous sailing experience is required - training is included - but you do need a strong sense of adventure and a desire to take on Mother Nature’s toughest conditions.
See the Clipper Race website for more information.