This year has been one to remember here at the Clipper Race. Records were broken, oceans crossed, and hundreds of people from all over the world completed what is one of the toughest ocean endurance challenges on the planet.

Before we begin the new year, one which will see the start of a new race – the twelfth in history, two of our Crew from the past edition have had a look back at all they achieved over the past twelve months.

Shona Davies, South Africa/UK, Legs 3,4,5, Dare To Lead

How has life been since the race came to an end?

I think the best word to describe this has to be "interesting". The Clipper Race was such a huge focus for me over two years, with the training, preparation and then actually getting out there and sailing. It's been quite an adjustment to get back to "normal" life. There have been major highs and some lows but overall, it's been a cracking 2018.

What have you been up to?

Well, I took a redundancy from work after deciding that I needed to change my life and my lifestyle after returning from the race. Since then, I've been starting up my own consulting company, been made a trustee of Mind in Mid Herts - the charity I raised funds for during my race - and even tried my hand at a bit of painting and decorating! I've also got a wedding to plan...and that's going rather well :)

Has the race influenced or changed your day to day life?

Absolutely. The way I was working and how I felt about my life before the race was untenable. The race gave me great perspective on the things that are really important to me and the fact that there are other ways to live my life. The 9-5 grind is not a mandatory experience!

How do you feel with 2018 coming to an end when you look back at everything you have achieved?

I'm proud of what I've done - not just competing in the race itself but all the work and training that went in beforehand and what has come after. If there are two things I've taken away from the experience, they are firstly to trust myself. I'm capable of things I never dreamed I could achieve (and yet I did). The second is to face and conquer fears. After experiencing some of the things we did on that boat, there's not much that can scare me now!

Gerardo Injoque, Peru, Full Circumnavigation, Garmin

How has life been since the race came to an end?Life has changed for good.. One of the things I discovered during the race was the beauty of living a simple life. Everything I owned fitted in a duffle bag, with just the music on my iPhone and the books on my Kindle to keep me entertained. It was great! I was determined to keep my life simple. My current apartment is half the size of the one I had before the race. I’m also getting rid of a lot of stuff I no longer need… possibly never did. I am looking to declutter my life of all the excess.

What have you been up to?

I’m working as a business consultant but thinking about going back to graduate school for a career change…. just one of the aftershocks of the race.

Has the race influenced or changed your day to day life?

Absolutely. For example, I am no longer bothered by day to day setbacks. Traffic or weather have no power over me. I just tell myself: “You have been in a roller coaster in the North Pacific! Monstrous waves, cold, wet and scared… this is nothing”. Challenges also look less intimidating. As one of my crew mates said once, all my future challenges look a bit easier just because I did the race.

How do you feel with 2018 coming to an end when you look back at everything you have achieved?

I’m finishing the year with a huge sense of accomplishment, probably only those who were there will understand. The race has been the hardest challenge of my life and I feel privileged that I was able to do it. It will always be a milestone in my life.

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