Background Image
the race of your life APPLY ONLINE

Race 3 – Day 4 - Switzerland

Switzerland - Chris Paxton

15 OCT 2013 - Race 3

It was my birthday on Sunday. My previous birthday last year was spent at a house party in south London... but this one was spent in a kitchen. A moving vibrating swaying kitchen. Yes, I was on 'mother watch', spending the day preparing the meals for 17 people.

Breakfast was simple - just getting out packets of cereals and making the milk using powder. Lunch was mostly prepared by fellow 'mother' Roser as I had a two-hour snooze to recover from my 2am start. But with Roser looking a bit green from seasickness, I had the challenge of sorting the evening meal. Chicken stew for 17 people.

So I spent around two hours chopping and cutting the vegetables (and a minor cut on my thumb at one point) before dumping the whole lot in a massive pan and lighting the gas.

There's a motto in Clipper - 'trim, trim, trim' which reminds you to constantly trim the angle of your sails to go faster. In my case, my motto was 'stir, stir, stir' as I watched that chicken stew like a hawk.

In the end, the crew was very complimentary about my attempt (there was one comment about it could have done with more seasonings which I agreed with) but I went to bed satisfied with my efforts. And very grateful for the singing of 'Happy Birthday to You' at the evening team meeting.

The previous day was race start, which always is one of the most exciting days in a Clipper Race. As usual, I was operating the boat's video camera trying to get shots of 12 boats navigating their way out of Rio. It means that I often get the best view of the action - particularly when four boats were racing neck-and-neck with Copacabana beach in the background.

The GREAT Britain boat came out in front from that quartet, racing along at a scarily steep angle. On top of that, we had planes from the nearby airport taking off over our heads. When my Clipper Race comes to an end, I suspect it's days like this that I will most remember.

Chris Paxton