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North Sails Performance 2023 - LEADERBOARD

Mother and daughter cross Atlantic Ocean together as part of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

by Clipper Round the World Race 24 Oct 07:41 PDT
Clipper 2023-24 Race fleet © Clipper Race

Amanda Shehab, 56 and daughter Megan Allpress, 26 have arrived into Uruguay having crossed the Atlantic Ocean together and ticking off the first major ocean crossing of the competition.

Amanda, a retired company director from Wrexham, and Megan, a materials engineer from Cumbria, had only ever sailed recreationally before they decided to take on the full 40,000nm round the world challenge.

The duo, who are the first mother and daughter to take on the race together, makes up part of Dare To Lead, one of eleven teams competing in the almost year-long circumnavigation.

The teams, that are made up of Race Crew from around the globe, have been welcomed into port at Punta Del Este, Uruguay having completed an arduous 5,300nm crossing of the Atlantic from Puerto Sherry in Spain.

Speaking on arrival into port, Megan said "It was so nice to share this experience together. We feel like we've witnessed it all, high winds, low winds, but the good thing was, we were on the same boat! It was just nice to be there with Mum and be able to have a chat. And we got to cross the equator together!"

Race 2: Hundred Years Cup was a game of tactics from the start, with the 26-day north to south Atlantic passage being notorious for its testing and varied conditions and can challenge even the most experienced of sailors.

North-east trade winds with consistent downwind runs, flat calms and sticky heat in the equator, and the vicious unpredictable squalls of the Pamperos weather front, the race to Uruguay left risk and reward a real balancing act.

Amanda said "It's crazy, you're on this boat with 22 other people and you just don't see any other life, you're just out there surviving.

"This planet is a lot bigger than you think. And it's testing. When you're tired, and you have to get up, and it's dark, there are moments when you think, why am I doing this? But then you get some sleep, and the sun comes up and you think this isn't too bad, I think I'll stay."

Megan added "That's the beauty of doing this with a crew, there's 21 of you on the boat, and you pick yourself up and then pick everybody else up, we all have highs and lows, but we all pick each other up."

Mark Light, Clipper Race Director, said "What an amazing race! It was superb to follow on the Race Viewer, with spectators gripped until the very end.?Fast and exciting racing, endless sail changes and gybes, and the inevitable windless areas which were hot and frustrating.?Various tactics played out as teams navigated their way through the doldrums, and on to the final stretch."

The Clipper Race is known to be one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. Having departed Portsmouth, UK on 3 September it will take almost a year to complete its full 40,000nm circumnavigation. Divided into eight legs, the arrival in Uruguay marks the end of Leg 1 of the race.

This edition features over 700 people, aged 18 to 71, representing 55 nationalities and many diverse walks of life including electricians, orthopaedic surgeons, police sergeants and teachers, and the event's first mother-daughter duo, competing together on a matched fleet of 70ft ocean racing yachts. 22 percent of the crew had never sailed before signing up to the challenge as a mandatory and intensive four stages of training is provided. Each team is led by a professional Skipper and First Mate.

Megan and Amanda's team, Dare To Lead, placed fourth in Race 2: Hundred Years Cup. A race that had it all to play for until the very last hours.

Clipper Race Crew took some time to relax and unwind as they enjoy a fiesta of activity at Host Port Yacht Club Punta Del Este, who is celebrating its 100-year anniversary, before the start of Leg 2.

Following their stopover in Punta Del Este, the fleet will now continue its circumnavigation on Leg 2, as Race 3 sees the 3,555 nautical mile voyage to Cape Town, South Africa, a destination making its eleventh appearance on the Clipper Race circuit.

It will then head to Fremantle, Newcastle and Airlie Beach - Australia, Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam, Qingdao and Zhuhai - China, Seattle and Washington, DC - USA, before returning to Portsmouth at the end of July, 2024, via Oban, Scotland.

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