Clipper 1998 Race
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The second edition of the Clipper Race started in October 1998 and it was a young skipper named Alex Thomson, who set about setting down race records, which currently still stand to this day.
Still the youngest skipper to win the overall race, aged 25, Alex and his crew on board Arial also collected six consecutive race wins, a record which is yet to be equalled or beaten.
Also on board Arial during the 1998 race was Sir Keith Mills.
“I had been focusing on making money and had become a boring old fart so needed to broaden my horizons,” reveals Sir Keith while reminiscing on his participation.
“The Clipper Race training took me completely out of my comfort zone because suddenly I was no longer in charge, I was broaching in 40 knots of wind and unbelievably tired.
"It gave me a different perspective on life and made me understand myself quite a lot better. It made me change my lifestyle and some of the things I do.
“I ceased spending all my waking hours making money and spent more time doing more interesting things.
“My worst nightmare was being on mother watch and having to cook because I can’t cook. But I learned how to make bread and how to cook barracuda that we caught off the back of the boat so it wasn’t all bad.
“I can remember it all vividly, sitting up all night mending sails. There were ten of us on board and we all worked hard because we all wanted to win. Lovely, lovely memories.
“The boats were all the same so success came down to seamanship and a desire to win and despite that risky little episode, we were all inspired by Alex to push the boat pretty hard. It was a good happy boat which is probably why we won.”
“I am thrilled to see how Clipper Race has developed over the years, I have recommended a lot of people do the race"