Race 13 - Day 4
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Crew Diary - Derry-Londonderry to Liverpool
As this leg comes to a close, this particular race has made me think a lot about some of the dedicated team members I've worked with, as well as some other noteworthy crew we kindly refer to as passengers. The past 24 hours have been trying times and I'm grateful for my fellow Round-the-Worlders and multi-leggers who, rain or shine, flat or heeled, smooth sailing or violently beating upwind, consistently get the job done. When something is broken; when the other watch needs a hand; when a crewmate is suffering – it is always the same people who step up to the plate. The Clipper Race draws from a small section of humanity, and within that are folks who are hard-working team players, and those that are passengers. Passengers are folks who thought they'd signed up for a summer camp on a sailboat and have gotten a rude awakening when they've realized ocean racing is relentless and not an Instagram-perfect existence. We see them on every leg and it a struggle to find ways to integrate them positively to the team. They teach us that patience is a virtue! And clearly I'm still learning...
Us Round-the-Worlders have met all sorts of interesting crew with each new leg. Some have joined us for a brief time but made an amazing contribution to the team. We have laughed with our leggers, and Brother J's still 'in-case-of-emergency' crocs are still fastened to our forward bulkhead. Webby and Brother, you made Leg 5 what it was! In 2017, our Leg 1-4 half-rounders Lou and Ernst-Jan helped set the foundation for a winning team and let's not forget RTW's Dan, Carl and Stephen who began this journey last year but bowed out of the race before the Pacific – their contributions are not forgotten! And definitely a shout-out to crewmate and sometimes first-mate Nqoba. This man is a super sailor whose quick actions have saved our bacon in numerous dicey situations. The competition quakes in fear when they hear our Zulu warrior is at the helm! There are plenty others who deserve mention but it's far too rough below deck today to write a dedication to them all!
So here we are, nearly home. It's been an amazing but exhausting journey. And again, I've laughed, cried and survived thanks to some dedicated teammates. And so, in sailing and in life, let us aspire to be team players and not mere passengers. Thanks to all who have supported us on this journey!