Winning a berth aboard the world’s longest ocean race is a thing of dreams for many but for eleven lucky Sea Cadet Volunteers their dreams were granted after they won a national competition to compete in Leg 6 of the Clipper 2013-14 Race - the mighty Pacific Ocean crossing.
The winners were chosen from thousands of Sea Cadet Volunteers last year after a national competition was launched to win a berth during Leg 6 of the 40,000 mile global challenge from Qingdao, China to San Francisco.
One of the winner’s was Adam Montgomery a Sea Cadet Volunteer from Essex who will join GREAT Britain, ahead of the 5,800 mile Pacific Ocean challenge.
“The Clipper Race has given me this incredible opportunity to tackle one of the world’s most treacherous oceans. It’ll be a huge achievement to arrive in San Francisco representing my country.
“The icing on the cake was being chosen for GREAT Britain and it felt amazing, especially as I found out a friend of mine from where I live on the Isle of Sheppey is a round the world crew member on GREAT Britain too. It’s one small world!”
Before the fleet’s arrival into Qingdao, the Sea Cadet Volunteers have been working with local schools, colleges and youth groups to deliver a youth engagement programme.
Gary Bassett, the Deputy Director of operations at the Marine Society of Sea Cadets in London, who is in charge of running the programme, said, “It’s been a terrific experience being here in China at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center. We have been working with children and young people of various ages to teach those new skills, like sailing and games like cricket and catch the flag.
“Today we took some young primary school children out on training dinghies to do some training with them on the mini Olympic sailing course. Tomorrow we will be taking some college students on 26 foot yachts to teach them how to sail, which is incredibly rewarding.
“All of the volunteers are really getting stuck into the programme, and are looking forward to competing in this incredible race.”
Sea Cadet Volunteer, Keith Bisson from Jersey was thrilled to find out he had won a place on Leg 6. However, when it came to deciding which boat he would sail on, there was only one option.
“As my wife is from Derry-Londonderry I knew immediately that I had to be on the Northern Irish entry, Derry~Londonderry~Doire. We have a huge family back there; so much so that we have already booked our holiday to coincide with the Derry-Londonderry visit. Everyone says it’s an incredible stopover, so I’m looking forward to cheering on my team from the quayside when they arrive in their home port.”
You can check the latest ETAs into Qingdao, China here. Race 10 from Qingdao, China to San Francisco will start on Sunday 16 March.