American crew member Jim Cole crossed the Atlantic Ocean during the Clipper 11-12 Race, he shares his experiences with clipperroundtheworld.com.
“Think it's too late to do something you've always dreamed of doing? Think again! I'm 73-years-old Jim Cole from San Francisco, California (and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) and it was that very same decision I faced in deciding whether to participate in the Clipper 11-12 Race.
“Even though I'd sailed for almost 40 years, a number of my close friends and family thought I was insane to consider sailing the Atlantic Ocean at this stage of life.
“When asked why, my answer was simply, ‘because I can’. I'm firmly convinced that continuing to push oneself to achieve difficult but attainable goals, is a fundamental ingredient to enjoying a fulfilled life.
“For me the race was nothing less than the experience of a lifetime. Why? Just think of it...sailing out of New York harbor past the iconic Statue of Liberty; stopping over in my birthplace of historic Halifax, Nova Scotia; combating Hurricane Chris in the middle of the vast North Atlantic; enjoying an amazing Irish welcome in Derry-Londonderry; negotiating the bleak but beautiful North Sea; spending an unforgettable time in Den Helder, the Netherlands; and finally, experiencing the incredible Southampton race finish where hundreds of welcoming yachts came out to greet the fleet.
“But beyond sailing is the people side of this equation. You meet some of the most interesting people you'll ever meet in life, not only your crewmates, but those with whom you train, as well as all the other wonderful people you meet along the way, many of whom you will never, ever forget!
“Public speaking is far from my forte, but I've been pleasantly surprised at the genuine interest the Clipper Race is garnering on this side of The Pond. Just last week I was asked to speak about the race to a group of roughly 150 complete strangers. Nobody fell asleep, which is testament to the incredibly exciting subject matter, not the speaker.
“What's next? Why not car racing? I start this weekend at the Laguna Seca racetrack here in California.
Enjoy life, challenge yourself!”
If you’d like to follow in Jim’s footsteps and take on the challenge of a lifetime. Click here to find out more and apply for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.