Please select your home edition
Edition
Clipper Ventures
JOIN THE RACE JOIN THE 2019-20 RACE MAGAZINE DOWNLOAD THE OFFICIAL SOUVENIR RACE MAGAZINE Check out the latest photo galleries from The Clipper Race
UNICEF ABOUT UNICEF

Meet the crew: Richard Burchell, Clipper ‘96 crew back racing on Clipper 2019-20 Race

by Clipper Round the World Race 25 Sep 2019 02:26 PDT
Richard Burchell - Clipper 2019-20 Race © Clipper Race

  • Name: Richard Burchell
  • Occupation: Chiropodist
  • Hometown: Caterham, Surrey
  • Leg: Circumnavigation
  • Team: Imagine you Korea

Twenty-three years after Richard Burchell, 62, took part in Clipper '96, the very first Clipper Race, Richard has returned to circumnavigate the globe on the current edition of the race. Describing his experience, he said: "I did one leg of Clipper '96; I went to Hawaii, Japan and Hong Kong and had such a fantastic time, I promised myself when the time was right I would return to go around the world."

The very first Clipper Round the World Yacht Race started on Wednesday 16 October 1996, with the eight-strong fleet of 60-foot yachts departing Plymouth, UK for the American port of Fort Lauderdale via Madeira. The inaugural race's route took in ports including the Galapagos, Hawaii, Yokohama, Salvador and the Azores before returning to Plymouth on 14 September 1997. Fast forward to the Clipper 2019-20 Race and Richard has set off to the sound of thousands of people cheering him on from the banks of St. Katharine Docks, London as part of a fleet of eleven 70ft yachts.

Richard, who is embarking on the challenge with the Imagine your Korea team, shared what drew him back to the Clipper Race for a second time - the people. He says, "I remember an awful lot about the people I sailed with and that is what drew me back. Barely a month goes by when I don't think about someone I shared the experience with on Clipper '96."

The important message that Richard wants to send out to anyone, is to take opportunities when you can, whatever the dream. "I am a Chiropodist and I've sold the family business and decided now is the time, before I get too old, to circumnavigate with the Clipper Race. I am overwhelmed by the amount of support and encouragement I have received and I truly hope that I encourage others to do what they want to do, as so often we put things off."

He continued: "My father had a stroke seven years ago and is now in a wheelchair. He promised himself that when he retired, he would do all sorts of wonderful things but that has been taken away from him. That is the other thing that prompted me to take on this opportunity." His lasting advice is to "never give yourself the chance to look back and think 'if only I had', because that's terrible".

The intrepid crew member puts his desire to sail around the world down to his high school experience. "My sailing experience started at Riddlesdown High School where my geography teacher, Don Garman, wanted to take people out on a sailing course in the '70's - it sparked my interest in sailing. I am so pleased to have been able to tell him recently that what he started all those years ago has resulted in me doing this. I want him to know that one small thing has resulted in me taking part in the Clipper Race". Richard now hopes to inspire people, whatever their circumstances, to follow their dreams.

And whilst the 40,000nm ocean race is Richard's dream adventure, he is also hoping to tick a few more goals off his list, including diving in the Great Barrier Reef and sailing past the statue of Liberty into New York. He has friends and family tracking his progress via the Race Viewer and he is keenly documenting all of his experiences, to inspire younger generations. He says: "My ex-girlfriend's Grandson, Kian, is following me everyday. He has given me an exercise book so I can write a blog every day and he is following me on the Race Viewer. At school he is learning about each country we will be visiting. The school has embraced it!"

To join Junior Crew Supporter Kian, and track the race, visit the Race Viewer and keep up to date with Richard's news from on board here. Warning, it does make for addictive viewing.

Related Articles

Meet the Clipper Race Crew: Dario Schwendener
For the 27-year-old, circumnavigating was the ultimate sabbatical For 27-year-old Dario Schwendener, circumnavigating was the ultimate sabbatical. With the Clipper Race providing a chance to travel the world, compete in a sport he loves as well as hands on experience of teamwork and leadership in an extreme environment. Posted on 15 Sep
Meet the Clipper Race Crew: Ben Deifel
Rekindling a memory from 10yrs ago, an article sparked the idea to sail around the world By chance Ben Deifel, a 32-year-old COO from Munich, Germany, happened across a feature about Clipper Race in a travel magazine he picked up from an airport in Oman. Rekindling a memory from 10 years ago, article sparked an idea to sail around the world. Posted on 6 Sep
Meet the Clipper Race Crew: Kiki Kettunen
A Seattle team circumnavigator in the Clipper 2019-20 Race Finnish born Kiki Kettunen first heard about the Clipper Race 12 years ago but it took life and work to align and the sight of a billboard ad on the London Underground to help her take the first step in becoming an ocean adventurer Posted on 30 Aug
Why I signed up to the Clipper Race
Find out why crew members signed up for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Adventure has led us humans into the unexplored parts of our magnificent planet and universe. Circumnavigating the world as part of the Clipper Race will allow me to feel ever closer to what the great explorers felt when they ventured into the unknown. Posted on 23 Aug
Clipper Round the World Race finish reflections
The day that can seem an age away or seem to be zooming up far too quickly Race Finish, the day that can seem an age away, after an exhausting watch in the Southern Ocean, or seem to be zooming up far too quickly when there's just a few races to go. Posted on 12 Aug
A return to sailing: China gets back on the water
With strict guidelines, limitations and health and safety procedures Sporting events around the world have been affected by the global outbreak of Covid-19. Sailing has not been immune to the impact from the pandemic with both major international events and local sailing postponed, including the Clipper 2019-20 Race. Posted on 8 Aug
Wendy Tuck - Breaking records and barriers
The first female Skipper to win a round the world yacht race Becoming a trailblazer was not Wendy Tuck's intention when she signed up to be a Skipper in the Clipper 2018-17 Race - the Australian simply wanted to go sailing. Posted on 1 Aug
Meet the Clipper Race crew: Abdelhamid Abouyoussef
Founding the answer to a long unanswered question "I found the answer to a long unanswered question." Said Abdelhamid Abouyoussef about taking part in Clipper Race. Like many who apply Abdelhamid, a Managing Director, as always wanted to circumnavigate the world, but on his own logistics were complicated Posted on 26 Jul
Reflections on the final ocean crossing
The final leg of the Clipper Race comes with tremendous highs but also lows The final leg of the Clipper Race comes with tremendous highs but also lows as it means the global journey is coming to an end. At a time when the Clipper 2019-20 Race crew should have been completing their penultimate race of the series Posted on 25 Jul
Zhuhai Ambassador Crew reflects
One year on from completing Clipper Race training A year on from completing their Clipper Race training programme, Zhuhai Ambassador Crew members share their memories, photos & videos. They reflect on what they have already achieved and look forward to what is still to come on their Clipper Race journey. Posted on 23 Jul
MBW newsletters (top)