Playing Catch Up

Unlike my fellow crew mates currently working hard to drive the Derry-go-round to Rio (as we have affectionately nicknamed the good ship Derry~Londonderry~Doire), I have fallen behind in posting on the site in recent months. If you attend a Clipper Crew Recruitment Presentation, you receive fair warning that if you sign up for the race, it takes over your life for the duration. Whilst all of us in the room heard the message, I’m not sure that any of us fully comprehended what this actually means.

As well as the obligatory 3 weeks of Clipper race training which pretty much uses up all annual leave, there is the maintenance and theory course, crew allocation, building team websites, official team building weekend, unofficial crew get-togethers, boat preparation week (AKA ‘build a boat’ for this years’ crew), boat delivery trip to race start, race start weekend, then following the race via the race tracker to check on the position of the boat, crew blogs, skippers blogs, organising insurance and gear and preparing to leave your daily life behind for however long you have signed up to race on the boat (6 months for me). Throw into this mix the usual stresses and strains of work, trying to keep up with family and friends, the obligatory pre-Clipper wobble (think we all have one) and other aspects of daily life and things get pretty hectic.

Not that I am complaining, I did after all put pen to paper and sign up for this challenge willingly and with the fullest comprehension of what I was doing. But it does mean that something get put on the back burner, which I have to admit has happened to this blog.

Anyway – I plan to play catch up in the next week or so; until then, a few photos will have to suffice!

Clipper 13-14 Crew Allocation Picture

Crew Allocation (Spot me to the left of Sir RKJ’s right hand).

clipper 13-14 race, clipper 70, clipper crew trainingHelming a OneDLL CV20 in the sunshine during Level 3 training

Team Sean's Round the World Bar

The first of many outing for Team Sean’s Round the World Bar at team building

Parade of Sail Dress Rehearsal

Dress rehearsal for the Race Start parade of sail – and the first time all 12 Clipper 70’s were on the water together.DLD Boat NamingThe boat naming ceremony for Derry~Londonderry~Doire prior to race start

 

And The Winner is… Team Sean!

clipper 13-14 race skipper, cv26, team sean

Just a quick post for now – more will follow later this week hopefully!

I was allocated to ‘Team Sean‘ at Crew Allocation on Saturday at the Guildhall in Portsmouth, with Sean McCarter as my Skipper. I have had the pleasure of sailing with Sean during my Level 2 training, so he knows how I like my tea already… bonus!

Sean McCarter, Qingdao, Level 2 Clipper Training

Team Sean doesn’t have a boat sponsor announced yet, however as the names were read out in the Guildhall, and we gathered together as a crew for the afternoon, it was blindingly obvious that if you were born on the Island of Ireland, lived there, had taken the ferry across the Irish sea at any point or had an Irish Setter, then you were on Team Sean. Oh, and Sean is Irish too. I don’t think you would need to be a rocket scientist to work out that Team Sean is likely to have an Irish sponsor.

The team has already been receiving messages of support, most notably from Phil Coulter, the Northern Irish song writer, musician and record producer who wrote Ireland’s Call, heard when the Irish Ruby Football team plays.

My very best wishes to Team Sean. You are all either very courageous or slightly mad …….maybe a bit of both. Special mention to your Skipper, who hails from “THE TOWN I LOVE SO WELL”. Sean, they tell me you’re a horse of a man!
I hope you all have a great adventure and pray that you return safely,”HOME FROM THE SEA”, when your family and friends will be there to greet you with a chorus of “CONGRATULATIONS”.
Phil Coulter

The reality of what I am going to be doing later this year has really hit home this weekend; September will come around extremely quickly. There is so much to organise and do before the race starts, including preparing the yacht, CV26, that will be home to some of the crew for the 11 months it takes to complete the circumnavigation. I start my Level 3 training next week, which will be done with Sean and some of my fellow crew mates and be a great chance to start to get to know people.

(Note: Thanks to all the people who tried to comment on recent posts – the anti-spam software I was using worked too well, and spammed every comment, deleting them too. I have turned that plugin off, so hopefully comments should be back up and working once more!)

Teams Are Unveiled For Clipper Race

Clipper 13-14 Crew Allocation Picture

Crew allocation took place on Saturday – here is the official crew picture taken. I’m fairly easy to spot, just to the left of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s right hand. Hmm… that could be my claim to fame in years to come – you heard it here first!

Clipper Race – International Crew Gather In The UK As Teams Are Unveiled For Clipper Race.