Three months ago, Gore and Henri Lloyd set out to find three remarkable people to take part in the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race. Hundreds of applications came in from across the whole of Europe and after a demanding selection event in Hampshire this weekend the finalists were whittled down to three winners.
The GORE-TEX® Experience Tour enables people to make their dreams a reality. And for those people passionate about sailing, the dream doesn’t get much bigger than ocean racing!
Representing the GORE-TEX® Experience Tour and Henri-Lloyd on Leg 3 – The Southern Ocean Sleigh Ride – will be Julie Cully who, after seeing the competition advertised in the London underground, decided to set herself a challenge that would take her out of her comfort zone. Originally from Ireland, Julie 37 is now based in London and was impressed by the competition, “Any one of the finalists would have made an incredible ambassador for this project. I am really honoured to have been selected and am determined to do each one of them proud when I take my place on Leg 3.”
For Leg 4 – Cape Leeuwin and Three Oceans – the judging panel chose Grace Freret who was inspired to follow her sailing dream after reading 'Come hell or high water' by Claire Francis as a young girl. “I am so grateful to GORE-TEX® Experience Tour and Henri-Lloyd for helping me to realise a childhood dream,” commented Grace who is 31 and lives in Liverpool.
And finally, on Leg 5 – The Asia Pacific Challenge – the winner is Romanda Simpson. Romanda’s thirst for adventure has taken her from her native Canada to all corners of the globe and she is excited about the next steps. Now based in London, Romanda 31, commented, “the experience so far has been amazing. It has been inspiring to spend time with inspirational people who share the same lust for life. What’s even more thrilling is the prospect of what is in store for me and the other three winners.”
No sailing experience is required to take part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, so when the Clipper 68 foot ocean racing yacht left harbour this was the first real sailing experience for some of the finalists. After a full day on the water where everyone had chance to try the different roles on board, the judges convened on shore to make their final deliberations.
“We have been really inspired by the people we have spent the last two days with,” said Anna McNamara of W.L. Gore & Associates, the organisers of the GORE-TEX® Experience Tour. “We wanted to find three people with a passion for life and a will to succeed and I think it is fair to say that we found those qualities in all twelve of our finalists.”
As well as their prize of joining a crew for the race, Julie, Grace and Romanda will also be kitted out for their adventure in the latest GORE-TEX® products from Henri-Lloyd who are Official Technical Clothing Partner to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The runners up all received Henri Lloyd Falcon GORE-TEX® Jackets.
Graham Allen, Commercial Director Henri-Lloyd Limited concludes, “Unsurprisingly, there was fierce competition for the final places, but I am confident that we have found 3 winners who will not just benefit from, but will thrive from this incredible adventure. We are all looking forward to following their progress.”