Race 13 - Day 2
Crew Diary - Race 13 Day 1
19 June

Marie O’Riley
Marie O’Riley
Team Dare To Lead
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I woke up this morning and felt like a kid on Christmas morning. The big day that has been in my diary for four years has finally arrived… Race start – Leg 8, The Atlantic Homecoming Leg.

Those of you who follow Dare To Lead on social media may know my name. As the team Social Media Secretary, I’ve been posting content since before the start of this race on 1t September 2019. It wasn’t easy during the pandemic when the fleet was moored up in the Philippines.

So how did I get here? I’m one of the 40% of people doing this race who have never sailed before. My natural habitat is usually my allotment (vegetable garden) in my home town in the middle of England, far away from the sea.

I happened to be visiting family in Liverpool the day before the start of the 2017-18 edition of the race and saw the fleet at Royal Albert Docks. I got chatting to one of the crew members on Visit Seattle who told me her Skipper was a 24 year old English woman, Nikki Henderson so I said I’d follow them.

After about 6 weeks of following the Race Viewer and reading the crew blogs. I said to my husband Mike ‘It looks like great fun, I’d love to do one of the legs.’

With his encouragement I went to an interview and was offered a place. So I spent the money for our new kitchen on a sailing adventure.

I’ve had an amazing time doing the training. All the training staff are great and have really helped a novice like me. I’ve also met some wonderful people from all around the world who make up the Clipper Race crew.

So today I find myself onboard CV27 sailing through the beautiful turquoise waters of Bermuda, taking part in the Parade of Sail with the rest of the eleven-strong fleet (something I’ve watched many a time from home via Clipper Race Facebook Live.)

I thought that being at sea would give me a rest from social media, as my two daughters have told me that I’m obsessed with it. Turns out I’m now the media crew taking photos and video, and chivvying the rest of the crew to write blogs (I thought I ought to set an example and write the first one.)

The world is a different place from when I signed up for this race. I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in something like this. I know there will be times when it gets tough and I wonder why the hell I’m doing it. While Dare to Lead may not be able to win this race, you can help us to stay 2nd in the UNICEF fundraising table by donating to my Justgiving page.

I’ll sign off now as I’m on Mother Watch and I’ve got bangers and mash to cook for dinner.

Sending all my love to Mike, Jess, Emily (sorry I’m away for your last 3 A Levels) and Juno.

Marie x