Race 8 - Pre-race
Crew Diary - Art and Cultural Exchange Poem
25 February

Phil Orford
Phil Orford
Team GREAT Britain
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The Race of Our Lives – Part 1

Nervous, hesitant waves
Smiles and teardrops shared
That cold shiver of apprehension
The warm glow of friend and family adulation
And admiration
And though many will never really understand
We all have sufficient reasons
To enter the race of our lives

Mostly fledgling sailors
We are like young sea birds
Courageously battling the wind
Unsure of our trim
Yet flying freely
Spreading our wings
Embracing adventure
In the race of our lives

Like a developing child
Amusingly taking its first steps
Our footing is unsure
We fight for balance
Countering the roll
And the heel
As we find our sea legs
For the race of our lives

The countdown begins
But there’s no starting block
Instead we are like playful dolphins
Just a dozen in all
Cutting through waves
Jockeying for position
To be at the head of the pod
And lead the race of our lives

We glide over water
Seem to soar in clear night skies
Sparkle like the stars above us
Constantly chasing the horizon
Where rainbows end
Where dreams and born
Where adventures are fulfilled
Living the race of our lives

We conquer vast oceans
Crisscross countless seas
Tacking, gibing
Racing, battling
One another, the elements
Our inner selves
Each for our own purpose
During the race of our lives

Like a looking glass
The azure blue sea
Reflects all around us
As we too reflect
On past, present and future
Of incredible new adventures
And challenges
That will follow the race of our lives

In the solitude of the helm
We are like Kings
In a seafarer’s realm
Choosing to be guided by a bright star
Than a dark cloud
Or the hypnotic red dial of the compass
As we navigate our way
Through the race of our lives

We sail, we race
Round the worlders, leggers
Hundreds in the Clipper family
Competing, enduring
Celebrating, partying
Drinking, laughing
Even crying together
In the race of our lives

You know:
We race because we choose to
We race because we can
Now to our halfway point
Here in Da Nang, Viet Nam

So it’s time to remember
This is not a year out of real life that we’re taking
It’s a year of real life that we’re living
As we continue the race of our lives

Copyright Phil Orford 2016. Not to be reproduced without permission