The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race campaign 'watch my story' launched today, Monday 17th September, across the UK. This new international crew recruitment campaign is urging people to ‘achieve something remarkable’ by swapping the tedium of their daily routine for the excitement of racing across some of the most challenging oceans on the planet. No experience necessary!
The ‘watch my story’ campaign will roll out globally in key overseas markets later this year. It features real amateur crew from the last race with a link to watch their stories online.
The Clipper Race was founded 16 years ago by legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-9. It is the world’s longest ocean race at 40,000 miles. The extraordinary factor is that anyone 18-years-old or over is eligible to apply without any sailing experience. The selected crew members are put through three weeks of intensive pre-race training.
Sir Robin said: 'I want people coming back from this race and saying ‘it’s the best thing I’ve done in my life,’ and then adding ‘so far’. Nearly half the people who take on the adventure of the Clipper Race have never sailed before but we give them a comprehensive training and supervise them with professional skippers.'
Clipper Ventures’ CEO, William Ward added: 'This campaign goes to the root of what Sir Robin and I set up all those years ago – swapping your everyday life with an adventure of a lifetime.
'This is our last call for crew for the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Race and will undoubtedly increase the interest we already have for the 2015-16 edition.
'The Clipper Race is bigger than ever, with the last race reaching a cumulative global media audience well in excess of a billion people. To meet the growing demand from sponsors and for crew berths, we’ve invested in twelve brand new 70-foot yachts.'
The campaign drives readers to a new microsite, where they can find out more about featured crew members, watch on board footage and register their interest. The individual crew videos explore why the featured crew members signed up for the race, including the highs and lows of their adventure.
Marketing Brand Manager, Terri Clarke said, 'We’ve got strongly behind crew stories to achieve emotional engagement. We’re lucky to have such extraordinary people taking part who have chosen to put their normal routine on hold for up to a year to race around the world; each with a different background and reason for doing so. Their stories and achievements are what are really inspiring.'
One of those featured is Nik Brbora, a 29 year old software engineer from London. Despite encountering heavy seas and at one point being evacuated by the US Coast Guard, he is now encouraging others to take up the challenge of the Clipper Race.
'It was an incredible adventure, full of challenges. I did it because I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone. That was my main motivation,' explains Nik. 'I’ve gained a lot more confidence. I’ve just sailed around the world! My outlook on life has definitely changed. I would never have done anything like this before. I hope my story will inspire others to achieve something remarkable through participating in the Clipper Race.'
Crew can take on the full 40,000 miles circumnavigation, or one or more of eight legs. The race fleet takes almost a year to visit 15 ports of call on six continents. Conditions are variable, from the frustrations of the doldrums with little or no wind to challenging everything Mother Nature has in her armoury.
'The highlight of the race was probably our first big storm in the Southern Ocean. I remember climbing up the mast to get the sails down and you could just see this awesome force of nature – the grey sky, the really big waves and the strong wind. It’s probably not a sight that many people in the world will ever see; A scary and very tough moment but one that I’ll never forget,' adds Nik.
The most challenging time came in the Pacific Ocean when Nik’s yacht was hit by a freak wave and he had to be evacuated for medical attention. 'At that time you go into survival mode – everyone has to secure the boat and also look after the injured. Everyone pulled together. I was relieved when I was rescued but at the same time I didn’t want to get off the boat because the other crew had worked hard and I didn’t want to let them down. I actually managed to make a full recovery during the stopover in San Francisco Bay and I was able to join the crew to continue the race.
'The most enjoyable part of the race for me was the people. It was great to have so many people who you wouldn’t normally meet in your own life and you were all working together for the same goal. We all gelled well – had lots of fun and lots of jokes and a great experience. That for me was the most fun part of the race,' said Nik.
Because of his bravery and determination Nik was selected by Clipper Race officials to star in one of a series of short online videos which feature former crew. He will also be seen on posters at main line railway stations in London and across the country, encouraging rail travellers to ‘watch my story’ and maybe swap the tedium of their commute for the excitement of racing across some of the most challenging oceans on the planet.
'Nik is a prime example of the profound effect the Clipper Race can have on people. It’s tough. But that’s why they do it. Serious injuries are rare and safety is our number one priority. Racing across an ocean is a unique experience. It makes you feel alive. I invite others to follow his example and achieve something remarkable,' added Sir Robin.
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race website
by Ruth Harrington
Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall
5:23 PM Mon 17 Sep 2012GMT
Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.