I attended a crew presentation in Derry-Londonderry whilst the Clipper fleet were there on a stopover at the start of July. Whilst at the presentation, I met up with a few other people who were considering applying, but were wrestling with the same issues that I was (and I suspect are common across the vast majority of the people taking part). These issues include how to go about funding this dream as it is a pretty big financial commitment and worries about how to deal with being in a confined space with 20 strangers and the conflicts that will inevitably arise. When you are on a 70 foot yacht in the middle of an ocean, there is nowhere to hide.
A good friend Sandra attended the presentation with me. She had been tasked with one job; her sole purpose on the 90 minute drive home was to dissuade me from applying. Well, that was a spectacular failure on her part – and she is usually my voice of reason! After twenty minutes of silence on the drive back, I had to remind Sandra of her duty – at which point she turned to me and told me that she just couldn’t even try and persuade me not do sign up for the race.
On race start day, I drove back up to Derry-Londonderry, handed in my application form and had my interview (more like a chat over a cup of tea thank goodness and not a job interview :)). I had the added bonus of watching the Clipper yachts leaving the pontoon to start their next race to Holland before going surfing at Portrush that had been the original plan for the weekend!
I have signed up for the first leg of the race, from England to Brazil, but am hoping that I can raise additional funds so that I can stay on the boat. Any fund raising ideas would be extremely welcome!